Olympian Booted From Team Over Racist Tweet

Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou won't be traveling to London

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 25, 2012 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – One athlete's Olympic journey is over before it began. Triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled from Greece's Olympic team today for comments she made on Twitter mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party. The Hellenic Olympic Committee said Papachristou, who is currently in Athens, had been excluded from the team "for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."

Papachristou's attempt at a joke Sunday went viral. Commenting on the widely reported appearance of Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens, Papachristou tweeted: "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!" Her tweet prompted thousands of negative comments. Papachristou yesterday reacted by tweeting: "That's how I am. I laugh. I am not a CD to get stuck!!! And if I make mistakes, I don't press the replay! I press Play and move on!!!" Her attitude changed completely today and she has posted five apologetic tweets in less than two hours.

Greece's Voula Papachristou lands in the sand after her jump at the Women's Triple Jump final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland, in this file photo dated Friday, June 29.
Greece's Voula Papachristou lands in the sand after her jump at the Women's Triple Jump final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland, in this file photo dated Friday, June 29.   (Matt Dunham)
Greece's Voula Papachristou soars through the air in the Women's Triple Jump final at the European Athletics Championships.
Greece's Voula Papachristou soars through the air in the Women's Triple Jump final at the European Athletics Championships.   (Matt Dunham)
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