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We're proud of swim star's silver: Mum
Guy Hand
02:50 AEST Thu Aug 9 2012

Emily Seebohm's mother is proud of her daughter's two Olympic silver medals, and even prouder of how the swimmer has dealt with Twitter abuse from armchair critics.

Seebohm has been a lightning rod for Twitter snipers ever since bursting into tears following her 100m backstroke silver medal in the Games' first week.

A week later, the Queenslander is still copping criticism.

One tweeter suggested on Wednesday to Seebohm and fellow swimmer Stephanie Rice they should follow cyclist Anna Meares' example and spend more time training and less on social media to win gold medals.

Seebohm has attempted to individually answer her critics - her responses far more measured and dignified than some of the vitriol she has been subjected to.

But her swim coach mother Karen says the 20-year-old has shown great maturity in handling her personal social media storm.

"I hope that I instil into Emily to respect other people's thoughts and what they think, and I think that she handled it (the criticism) in a particularly good way," Karen Seebohm told AAP.

"We're proud of her for the way she did handle her social media.

"You can't keep everybody happy at the end of the day. Some people just aren't going to like you, just because they don't like you."

Social media is a two-edged sword for athletes.

There is a price to pay, as Seebohm and others in London have found, in letting critics find and target you directly.

But sponsors now increasingly use Twitter follower numbers and "trending" on the micro-blogging site to determine whether they are getting bang for their buck from the athletes they financially back.

For the athlete, that means making money and covering expenses.

In Seebohm's case, it means perks like her major sponsor Pantene flying her mother to London for the Games, and treating the pair to high tea at famous London hotel Claridge's on Wednesday.

If Seebohm wasn't at peace with her individual silver medal before, she is now after time and space to reflect, ahead of a three-month break from swimming before returning for the world championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

She has also decided to immediately block Twitter users who are just out to abuse her or draw her into fights, rather than try to reason with them.

"That person (who criticises) doesn't go to training with us every day 24-7. That person doesn't go out and swim the laps with us," Seebohm said.

"At the end of the day we did our best.

"But if people don't think that was good enough and they didn't get what they wanted out of us, I feel disappointed for them.

"I walk away with an individual medal which I've never done before, and that's a step up."

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