London Olympics 2012: Greek Athlete Barred From Games Over Racist Comments
Jul 25, 2012 11:27 AM EDT
On Wednesday, team Greece's triple jumper Voula Papachristou has been expelled from this Olympics game taking place this Friday for posting on her Twitter and Facebook page inappropriate comments about the African immigrants in Greece. The Hellenic Olympic Committee confirmed the news saying that she has been dismissed from the team "for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement," as reported by the Associated Press.
On Sunday, Papachristou, tweeted, "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!" on her twitter account @papaxristoutj. Initially, once the tweet triggered an influx of angry responses, the Greece triple jumper expressed little remorse, tweeting back "That's how I am. I laugh. I am not a CD to get stuck!!! And if I make mistakes, I don't press the replay! I press Play and move on!!!"
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But soon more and more people grew angry and demanded Papachristou be thrown out of the team. Even the nation's Democratic Left Party (one of the three parties constituting the government) released a statement, "Let her make any miserable 'jokes' on social media while watching the games on TV. She definitely cannot represent Greece in London," as reported by the Associated Press.
On Wednesday, the former Olympic participant, took on a more remorseful stance for her comments, using the same medium that sparked the scandal to redeem herself," I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone or to encroach human rights....My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races. I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family," on her twitter account @papxristoutj as well as her Facebook page.
Regardless of her apology, Greece has decided to move on to the London games without Papachristou.