ON the eve of the London Olympic Games, when the eyes of the world turn to watch the best of the best, it's sad that the words on everyone's lips seem to be Leisel Jones' "weight".
Earlier this week, some in the nation's media launched a scathing attack on the breaststroke queen for being overweight and in no condition to defend her 100m title won in Beijing four years ago.
Alongside these editorials were photographs depicting the contrasting body shape of the now 26-year-old, from a streamlined figure in 2008 to unflattering images of her in swimming gear today.
With eight medals, including three Olympic gold, under her belt already, Jones has more than proven she can match - and out-swim - the best the world has to offer.
And the fact that she was obviously fit enough to win races to qualify for the 2012 Games should be testimony to her condition.
It is disgraceful that some people chose this week, the eve of the London Olympics, to take a slap at an athlete who should be concentrating on her sport, not on what is bein the media.ng said about her weight.
Australian Olympic team chef de mission Nick Green has joined a chorus of Jones fans who have come out in support of the swimmer.
While training at the main competition pool days after the photographs were published, Jones seemed unaffected by the controversy back home.
Debate on her own body image should be the furthest thing from her mind as she makes last-minute preparations for the Games, To many out there, Jones looks like a healthy young woman who is proud of her body image. And, as awhich kick-off tomorrow morning (AEST).
Surely over the last few decades, when we have learned so much about body image and how dangerous an effect it can have on some people, we can keep our opinions to ourselves.
More than likely these "fat" comments are coming from the couch-potatoes who like watching sports rather than participating in them.
Let's hope Jones proves these naysayers wrong and comes home with a swag of the glistening stuff around her neck.
And good luck also goes out to the Ballarat athletes standing on the cusp of representing their nation at the London Games.