Olympic Swimmer Stephanie Rice Sparks Twitter Scandal with Swimsuit Photos?

London 2012Two things are given between now and the start of the London Olympics – never ending chatter about a rivalry between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and endless coverage of every even remotely attractive female athlete who may or may not be competing in the games.  Love it or hate it; you better get used to it.  Rivalries build interest and attractive women drive ratings/Internet traffic.

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MSN FOX SPORTS:  How can a famous swimmer get criticized for wearing (wait for it now . . .) a swimsuit?

See the case of Stephanie Rice. The three-time Olympic champion from Australia recently took to Twitter to show off her new birthday present after turning 24 on June 17 — a revealing two-piece bikini given to her by designer Ellie Gonsalve.

Rice, who aims to defend her women’s individual 200m and 400m medley crowns in London’s Olympics, posted the image on Twitter with the caption: “Thank you to the Gorgeous @elliegonsalves for my birthday @veveswimwear bikini”.

After posting the shot, Rice has become a source of national debate Down Under among television, print and Twitter “experts” around Australia. Some appalled deem the suit too sexy and have even called for Rice to be dropped from the Olympic team over the photo.

Shameless media-driven story?  Just an excuse to show a picture of an athlete in a bikini?

Absolutely.

If Australians are actually offended by this, I’m ready to state for the record that from this day forward, that island nation is completely dead to me.

First off, males swimmers wear next to nothing in competition.  It’s really kinda gross.  Double standard much?

Second, it’s a swimsuit.  The woman makes a living wearing a swimsuit.  She took a picture in a swimsuit.  She was essentially taking a picture wearing her work uniform.  Does the UPS guy catch hell if he tweets a picture on himself in the brown mess he wears to work every day?  I think not.

Lastly, the women is attractive. Good on her for figuring out the Olympic master plan.  Train like a robot for months/years, compete to win, and cash in like it’s the last day the bank is open.  The window where an Olympic athlete can actually earn a living for his/her efforts is so narrow that if they don’t strike while the iron’s hot; they’re never going to get a chance to strike at all.

Get a grip Aussies.  Get a grip.  The woman may be among the only highlights of your Olympic campaign – in and out of the pool.

Stephanie Rice on Twitter

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