July 26, 2012- The opening ceremonies of the Olympics have not taken place yet and already controversy has started. On Wednesday, the Greek Olympic Federation expelled Voula Papachristou, a triple jumper from the London Games. She was ousted due a Twitter post that she made commenting on immigrants from Africa and expressing her support for a far-right political party.
Papachristou is from Athens and it would have been the first Olympic Games she would have participated in. The International Olympic Committee has very strict guidelines about what can be said by athletes in social media, but this is the first case an athlete has been expelled for using social media.
Papachristou made the tweet that got her expelled on July 22. She said, “There are many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will be eating homemade food.”
The tweet was marked by 54 people as a favorite. Papachristou apologized on both Facebook and Twitter saying her comment had been intended to come across as a joke. She said she apologized for the tasteless joke and was ashamed and sorry for the responses it had triggered. Her intention she said was not to offend anyone or encroach on the human rights of anyone.
Papachristou will remain in Athens when the rest of her delegation heads to London shortly.