Racist tweet sees Greece become the first to expel athlete as Social Olympics begin
It was bound to happen. So much talk of London 2012 being the first social Olympics, noting here only this morning how a social media faux pas was almost certain, and now, regrettably, it has and before the competition is even underway.
Greece has sent home triple jumper Voula Papachristou after she tweeted racist comments to the dismay of the Greek Olympic movement.
Papachristou was expelled from the Greek team after mocking African immigrants on Twitter.
Papachristou tweeted: “With so many Africans in Greece… At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food.”
She had been part of the 105-strong Greek team, and was due to fly into London shortly to compete in track events. Understandably her comments sparked a huge reaction on Twitter with calls for her to be disqualified even before the Greek Olympic Committee made its decision.
Her comments were condemned by the Greek Olympic Committee, which said the comment was “contrary to the values and ideals of the Olympic movement”.
Since she sent the tweet Papachristou has issued an apology, again on Twitter: ”
“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.”