Maddie Groves, a renowned two-time Olympic silver medalist, had been preparing tirelessly for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, which were delayed by a year due to the global pandemic. However, she recently faced added pressure during the Australian trials, leading her to make the difficult decision to drop out of the Olympics. Maddie revealed that she has been subjected to harassment from “misogynistic perverts” in the swimming community.

In her announcement, Maddie did not mention any names, as it was unnecessary. She had already made it clear in the past that she has experienced harassment while competing. Rather than endure further harassment from these “misogynistic perverts,” she chose to prioritize a life free from such mistreatment.

Sadly, Maddie’s decision means that she will not compete in Tokyo this summer. Despite being a world-class swimmer and earning two silver medals in the Olympics, she will not participate in the 200-meter butterfly or the 4×100 medley, both of which she excelled in during the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

Maddie’s declaration marks a turning point in her fight against the perverts she encountered. She believes that their behavior should no longer be tolerated, especially in the competitive realm of sports. She expressed her frustration in a poignant Instagram post that deeply resonated with her fans.

In her post, she stated, “I’ve made the decision not to compete at Olympic Trials in Adelaide. I’m so grateful to feel so supported in this decision. I feel very relieved, and I’m looking forward to racing at some other competitions later in the year (yeah, sorry/not sorry, you haven’t got rid of me just yet!).”

Maddie’s decision gained even more clarity in another follow-up post, where she provided additional details about her choice to withdraw from the Olympics. She wanted to send a powerful message to all the misogynistic perverts in sports and those who enable them. Her words resonated strongly:

“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.”

Maddie courageously declared her departure from the sport that appeared to condone such unacceptable behavior and rewarded those in power who perpetuated it. Her decision serves as a bold statement against harassment in sports and a call for change.

While it is unfortunate that Maddie will not compete in Tokyo, the impact of her stand against harassment will reverberate throughout the sporting community. This is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on how to create a safer and more inclusive environment for athletes, free from the influence of misogynistic perverts.