Italian swimming champion Linda Cerruti has lashed out over 'sexist' and 'disgusting' comments on a photo of her posing with her medals from the European Aquatics Championships.
The artistic swimmer posted the photo last week, showing her in an upside-down pose along with the eight medals she won at the recent championships in Rome.
The eight medals can be seen draped over her legs as she poses in an artistic position.
The post received tens of thousands of interactions and comments from fans, with many of them messages of support.
However the swimmer has since posted a follow-up message, decrying the thousands of “sexist” and “vulgar” comments that followed.
Cerruti shared a screenshot of one comment in Italian which said: “Nice medals, but the space between medals 4 and 5 isn’t bad either."
The 28-year-old wrote: “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.
“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.
“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.
“Is a bum and two legs really the only thing there and the main topic of conversation?"
Linda Cerruti receives outpouring of support
Cerruti said she was speaking out in an attempt to “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”.
Cerruti's follow-up post received an outpouring of support, with many Italians expressing their pride for her achievements.
The artistic swimmer won six silver and two bronze medals in Rome.
Others called for the swimmer to name and shame the people responsible for the vulgar remarks.
“Let’s see names and surnames of these imbeciles,” one angry fan wrote.
Cerruti has won over 20 medals at world and European championships throughout her illustrious career and represented Italy at the Olympics in 2016 and 2021.
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