Did you hear the one about Voula Papachristou, the Greek triple jumper? No? And you won’t either because she’s no joke. She’s also no longer an Olympian.
Kudos to the Greek Olympic committee for bouncing her off the team and out of London for her ignorant (and many are saying racist) tweets about Africans.
Athens is being infested Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes, which has been widely reported. On Sunday, the very blonde Papachristou tweeted: ”With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!”.
The tweet inspired thousands of negative responses (thankfully!), and one very clear response today from the Hellenic Olympic Committee: “[Papachristou is]” placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement.”
After trying to awkwardly dismiss the tweets earlier, Papachristuo today struck a very different tone on Twitter and Facebook: ”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.”