31st of July 2012 Author: Glo Wood
A teenager has been arrested by police investigating abuse of Team Great Britain diver Tom Daley on Twitter. After coming fourth in the men's synchronised 10m platform diving event on Monday, the 18-year-old athlete received a message on Twitter telling him he had let down his father, who died in May 2011 from brain cancer.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested in the Weymouth area on suspicion of malicious communications. The Police said they acted after being contacted by a member of the public on Monday. However, the Police spokesman did not confirm whether the arrest was specifically over the tweets to Daley or subsequent Twitter conversations with other users.
Tom Daley responded to the malicious tweet by posting: "After giving it my all...you get idiot's sending me this..." The user later posted a tweet apologising for the comment: "I'm sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I'm just annoyed we didn't win I'm sorry tom accept my apology. Please i don't want to be hated I'm just sorry you didn't win i was rooting for you pal to do Britain all proud just so upset."
After Daley forwarded the tweet on to his followers, he received several supportive messages. Daley's diving partner Pete Waterfield tweeted: "For all the haters out there, come do what we do then have ur say." Swimmer Keri-Anne Payne also posted: "Ignore the idiots! Not worth it."
Duncan Goodhew, a swimming gold and bronze medallist at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, described the behaviour of the respective Twitter user as "appalling". "I suppose that social media in one sense is fantastic, but turned the wrong way round it is very, very personal and it destroys people's lives. So I think people should be much more careful about what they say."
Rob Daley, who was the one helping his son become one of the world's top divers, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2006. He struggled to survive the disease but died in 2011.
Speaking before the Olympics, Tom Daley said: "I'm doing it for myself and my dad. It was both our dreams from a very young age. I always wanted to do it and Dad was so supportive of everything."
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