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Why this swimmer plans to shun social media...

August 03, 2016 10:40 IST
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‘I just felt like I didn't really get off social media and get into my own head’

‘When people tell you a thousand times 'You'll get the gold', somewhere in your mind you are going to say 'you've done it’

Emily Seebohm

IMAGE: Emily Seebohm of Australia celebrates with her teammates. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images.

Emily Seebohm is turning off the Twitter taps, and saying farewell to Facebook, as the Australian swimmer seeks success at this month's Rio Olympics.

Four years ago in London the double Olympic gold medallist blamed the late night distractions of social media after missing out on the women's 100 metres backstroke title to American Missy Franklin.

"I just felt like I didn't really get off social media and get into my own head," she told Australian media at the time.

"When people tell you a thousand times 'You'll get the gold', somewhere in your mind you are going to say 'you've done it'."

Seebohm won gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay in London, as well as 100 backstroke and 4x100 medley silvers, but she learnt a hard lesson with that individual medal that made her feel like a loser.

Rio will be much more of an unsocial bubble for the swimmer who also won 4x100 medley gold in Beijing in 2008.

Emily Seebohm

IMAGE: Emily Seebohm of Australia reacts. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images.

At the 2015 world championships in Kazan, Russia, she decided to put potential distractions on one side and came away with three gold medals, individual 100 and 200 backstroke golds and the 4x100 freestyle.

"For social media it's something that you have to decide personally...(others) might want to do that, they might like the distraction," she told reporters on Tuesday when the subject again came up.

"For me personally it doesn't work. I know that.

"The same approach I took into Kazan is the same I'm taking here. I basically haven't really posted anything as of late and I don't plan to."

Instead the swimmer has handed over her Twitter account to a close friend for the duration to keep followers up to date.

"As soon as I finish my swims, definitely on the finals, I might like to do a post or I might not," said the 24-year-old. "And then I'll take it how it goes from there."

Australia's reputation as a swimming superpower took a battering in London after they won a solitary relay title and slumped to their worst medal haul in 20 years.

A post-Games review found a "toxic culture" had developed in the team but Rio promises to see the Australians back in their familiar role as main rivals to the mighty Americans in the pool

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Source: REUTERS
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