Tuesday, 31 July 2012

London 2012: what breaks our hearts makes us stronger

The Olympics, it seems, constitute the opposite of social media. In the Olympics people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers, the best in their fields. There’s no anonymity or pseudonyms, it’s good honest sport. Therefore the bullies on social networks are having a field-day.

The most infamous comment appears to have come from an eejit called @Rilevy_69...

Tom Daley retweet's @rileyy_69's abusive text

...whose profile links to a site advertising "free porn videos and sex movies" and who initially tried to blame Daley for the hatred he was receiving…

@rileyy_69 accuses DALEY of hate

…while showing he was no stranger to dishing it out, threatening one tweeter that he would "come to your f*****g house right now with a rope and strangle you with it", and threats of sexual violence I won’t reproduce here. Like cowards the world over, he can give it but he can’t take it. I’m glad the police have caught up on him. Maybe they might want to check the "free" porn for viruses and pirated material?

read more about Ruta Meilotyte
Daley, on the other hand, has maintained a dignified silence on the issue and is doing what he does best: honouring the memory of his recently departed father by excelling, and the Olympian spirit by wishing good luck to Lithuanian swimmer and Plymouth schoolmate Ruta Meilutyte (right), who went on to win gold at 100m breast-stroke. Gabby Douglas: click to read athletic profileAnd as good as our women’s gymnastics team was, gold-winning Gabby Douglas (left) of the US gave an absolutely stellar performance. Gemma Spofforth: click to read more

Like any major event the Olympics is full of human stories. World-record holder for backstroke, Gemma Spofforth (right), didn’t want to talk bout missing out on a medal for the 100m, concentrating on plans to climb Everest as a way of honouring her mother's memory after her sad death. She’s living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger even if, or possibly especially if, it breaks your heart. I hope Spofforth, Daley and all the world’s Olympians of 2012 continue onward and upward.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

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