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Aussie Olympian trolled for being gay

Snowboarder Belle Brockhoff says 'I will still say things that I want to say.' Photo: Getty Images
The 21-year-old snowboarder has revealed that she has been the subject of an online gay hate campaign while in Sochi.
Brockhoff, who is openly gay and has publicly condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin and his anti-gay propaganda laws, says messages via Twitter have called her a "dyke" and told her to "break a leg and get locked in the slammer".
Fortunately, she meets the abuse with a sense of humour, saying "the hate is funny".
"I've been called an aggressive something dyke or something, but I thought it was pretty funny," she says.
Brockhoff's ability to use humour in the face of misfortune was on display following her boardercross semi-final, in which Canadian rider Dominique Maltais caused her to crash.
"If a Canadian hadn't taken me out, I would've won," she joked afterwards. "I am going to write her a strongly-worded open letter.
"She (Maltais) said, 'I'm so sorry, Belle’. When athletes are in that zone, they will take any line."
Brockhoff came out last year, making her not only an Australian snowboarder at this Olympics, but a representative of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) communities against a backdrop of a notoriously homophobic culture in the host country.
She is also actively involved with Athlete Ally, a non-profit organisation that raises awareness about homophobia in sports.
Professor Kerryn Phelps, who was the first woman and openly gay person to be elected president of the Australian Medical Association, tweeted earlier this month "@bellebrockhoff deserves gold already and she hasn't even competed yet #LGBT #Sochi2014."
But Brockhoff did not want to allow Russia's discriminatory anti-gay laws to define her Winter Olympic campaign.
"Snowboarding before this was always my focus. This was just an extra thing. If I had more pressure from the LGBT community to speak out, then I would have to do well. I felt more pressure from that than whatever everyone else was putting on me from the sports side of it."
Having finished eighth in her event, the athlete now considers her ability to speak out as being diminished.
"Like I said before, if I didn't get a medal, nobody is really going to care. I will still say things that I want to say. If people want to listen they'll listen."

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