Her comment quickly garnered photo submissions from many female athletes in the throes of exertion.
The world’s most prominent athletes are, sometimes unknowingly, the subject of countless photos while they compete. Those photos become shared social media images, headlines, and even memes. Athletes are focused on winning during their contests, so the overwhelming majority have zero interest in adding degrees of difficulty to their performance by maintaining a photogenic demeanor mid-event.
But, sadly, that doesn’t stop internet trolls from attacking the way athletes — and more often than not female athletes — look during their moments of peak performance. It’s unfair, it’s stupid, and it’s something that prominent athletes must contend with.
Sandi Morris, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist and the holder of the U.S. women’s outdoor pole vault record, has no intention of apologizing or conforming to the unreasonable expectations many have expressed.
She let the world know as much on Twitter.
SO many female athletes are afraid to post pics they look “ugly” in while competing. SORRY, BUT WE ARE BUSY KICKING… https://t.co/PWptMUFKMr— Sandi Morris, OLY🇺🇸 (@Sandi Morris, OLY🇺🇸) 1523633308
She was quick to receive the Twitter equivalent of a chorus of “amens” from women athletes who realize that pushing your body as hard as you can doesn’t exactly result in a glamour shot but still serves as a testament to the subject’s drive and intensity.
@sandicheekspv Haha so many “non-feminine” options! But I also love them bc they show grit, intensity, and muscle d… https://t.co/xl1P2zOCtX— Maria Michta (@Maria Michta) 1523635114
The gallery of photos that followed Morris’ proclamation was nothing short of inspiring, with Morris herself commenting positively on many of the photos shared.
@_KRISTEN___ YASS 💪🏼— Sandi Morris, OLY🇺🇸 (@Sandi Morris, OLY🇺🇸) 1523636339
@AdelineGray @eamslider24 @maggiesteffens You go girl!!!— Sandi Morris, OLY🇺🇸 (@Sandi Morris, OLY🇺🇸) 1523674883
The entire thread is worth a once-over, and it can be viewed, complete with Morris’ comments on many of the photos, here.