Olympic swimmer Madeline Groves pulled out of Australia’s swimming trials for the Tokyo Games, because of “misogynistic perverts in sport.” Back in December, Groves wrote on social media that she had made a complaint a few years ago about a man in swimming who stared at her in her swimsuit and made her feel uncomfortable.
Madeline Groves alleged the perpetrator had been promoted in their area of employment. She also wrote that a coach had made a “creepy comment” to her and apologized 15 minutes later, “possibly because the team psych told him to.”
“Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers – You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus. Time’s UP,” she tweeted.
Swimming Australia said it takes sexual misconduct allegations seriously. “Maddie declined to provide further information, nor do we have any previous complaints on record from Maddie,” the sport’s national governing body said in a statement.
Jessica Halloran, the chief sports writer at the Australian, tweeted: “Swimming Australia saying they don’t have ‘complaints on record’ from Australian Olympian Maddie Groves. Groves maintains she did complain. Just reading the latest social media post from @MaddieGroves_ is enough to start formally asking hard questions of officials,” in support of Madeline Groves.
On her Instagram posts, other athletes and Olympic medalists commented with heart emojis and “strength” emojis with flexing arms. Athletes from Katerine Savard to Molly Renshaw have all showed their love and support for Madeline’s decision to back out of this years Olympics in Tokyo. More athletes have shown up for the 26-year-old on her Instagram account than on Twitter.
She made a secondary post “for emphasis” on her Instagram feed of her Twitter message ‘warning’ the ‘misogynistic perverts’. In the caption, she said “chuck me a [fist emoji] (or whatever) if you’re with me,” and many did, even Australian Olympic diver, Brittany O’Brien.
The young swimmer and medalist has since delete the Twitter app, but her account remains up and active. She is still currently active over on her Instagram account at @mad_groves. On her Instagram story she announced that she is taking a break and going on holiday and will not be speaking to any media or making any further statements.
Madeline Groves is a Double Olympic silver medalist. She’s won silver in the 200 meters butterfly and 4×100 medley at the 2016 Rio Games for Australia. She is also a two times Commonwealth Games gold medallist. Her last medal at a major swimming event came at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in 2018, when she won gold in the 4x200m freestyle. While she may be pulling out of the Olympics, Madeline Groves said she is not quitting the sport and still plans on racing in competitions later in the year.
Groves writes, “I’m so excited to watch everyone at trials (streaming on Amazon y’all) and to see who will be representing Australia in Tokyo – whatever happens I genuinely think this will be one of the fastest Australian swim teams ever and I encourage everyone to get on the bandwagon early. Best of luck to everyone competing at Olympic trials but most of all to my beautiful team from @moretonbay_swimming.”