Image from http://www.examiner.com
One can only imagine the nightmare it would be for an athlete to be kicked out of the Olympics after years of rigorous training. Unfortunately, this nightmare became reality for Greek track star, Voula Papachristou.
Papachristou was expected to take part in the Triple Jump competition in the 2012 summer Olympics. However, just days before she was to board her plane to London she received a phone call that would change her life. According to Yahoo Sports, the Hellenic Olympic Committee decided to expel Papachristou from the Greek squad, as punishment for her racist tweet that read, “With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food.” Committee members felt Papachristou’s actions were against the values and beliefs of which the Olympics stood for.
Of course Papachristou apologized for her irresponsible actions, but it seems as if the athlete is more angry than sorry. In response to her expulsion, Papachristou stated, “I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control. After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision.”
I can’t help but to wonder if she truly thought she would get away with posting something as insensitive as the “joke” she posted without any consequences. Some people argue that her punishment was too severe, however I disagree. Olympic athletes are looked up to and admired by kids all over the world. Therefore, these athletes are expected to live a life worthy of this admiration, which is something Voula Papachristou chose not to do.
Let’s just hope this nightmare of a reality taught Voula Papachristou a lesson and set an example for all other Olympic athletes.