The 2012 London Olympic Games are set to begin this week, but Voula Papachristou won’t be attending. The almost-Olympian was kicked off of the Greek Olympic team after she sent out a racist message on Twitter.
“With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitos will be eating food from their own home.”
According to the Huffington Post, the message remained on Twitter for two days before Papachristou issued an apology.
“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.”
But the apology was too little and too late. The Greek Olympic Committee released a statement saying that Papachristou, who was set to compete with the Track & Field team in the triple jump event, would not be participating in the 2012 London Olympics.
Isidoros Kouvelos, president of the Greek Olympic Committee, told EuroNews:
“She showed no respect for a basic Olympic value and unfortunately she is out…. She made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes.”
Do you think Voula Papachristou should have been banned from the Olympics over a tweet? The Australian Olympic team also punished two of its athletes over tasteless tweets.
According to EuroNews, the 23-year-old athlete was a long-shot at the 2012 Olympics. Her best triple jump of the season was 14.58 meters, about half a meter from the world leaders.
Here’s a video of Voula Papachristou in action.