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.
While some reaction hinted this may have been a publicitiy stunt before The Games, The Herald Sun reported that her management team said the photo was not an endorsement or conflict of interest with any of Rice’s sponsors.
For Rice, this is not her first foray into social media controversy. In 2010, she used a derogatory term to homosexuals in a tweet celebrating an Australian rugby win over South Africa, resulting in a tearful public apology and loss of at least one major sponsor. In 2008, then 20-year-old Rice sparked reaction by tweeting a shot of herself in a skin-tight police costume.