Olympics swimmer Linda Cerruti has hit back at “sexist” comments on a photo where she’s posing upside down with her medals from the European Aquatics Championships.
The photo in question, which was posted by the Italian swimmer last week, showed her posing in an acrobatic upside-down pose along with the eight medals she won at the championships in Rome.
The post, which has received tens of thousands of interactions and many messages of support, shows the medals draped along Cerruti’s legs as she does the splits.
However, two days after sharing the picture the swimmer posted a follow-up message explaining that she’s received thousands of “sexist” and “vulgar” comments beneath the image.
“Two days ago I shared a photo taken at the beach where I always go, where I developed my first dreams, a place that has great symbolic value for me,” she wrote. “The photo shows me in an artistic pose, typical of my sport, upside down and doing the splits along with the eight medals I won during the best European Championship of my career.
“I am literally shocked and disgusted by the hundreds, probably thousands, of inappropriate, sexist comments and vulgar people responsible for them,” she added. “After over 20 years of training and sacrifice, I find it shameful to say the least, and it is heartbreaking to read the hordes of people making jokes that sexualise my body.”
Cerruti said that the only thing she can do is “expose the inappropriateness of those comments, mirroring a society that is still very masculine and different to the one I would like to be born into and raise my children one day”.
Soon after posting her message, the swimmer received an outpouring of fresh support from her followers.
Many Italians also commented that they were proud of Cerruti for representing Italy at international championships.