IOC President Rogge Angers Greeks, Calling London “Home of the Olympics”

Posted by in Sports

 Greeks are angry at International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge. During the Olympic Games 2012 opening ceremony Rogge called hosting city London “Home of the Olympics.”  And not only that. Jacques Rogge did not mentioned Greece at all, the country that created the Olympic Games more than 2,500 years ago.

 Rogge described London as “home of the Olympics” and explained that this is because the English capital hosts the Olympics for the third time.

“In a sense, the Olympic Games are coming home tonight. This great, sports-loving country is widely recognized as the birthplace of modern sport. It was here that the concepts of sportsmanship and fair play were first codified into clear rules and regulations. It was here that sport was included as an educational tool in the school curriculum. The British approach to sport had a profound influence on Pierre de Coubertin, our founder, as he developed the framework for the modern Olympic Movement at the close of the 19th century.” (Rogge’s speech)

Whether in this or another sense, Greeks got angry at Jacques Rogge and Greeks around the globe started to comment on social media, many of them in real ….”French”.  In one voice they all asked Jacques Rogge to retract the comment.

Strong Reactions

The issue soon got political with mostly right-wing parties to strongly reacting to Rogge’s ‘slip of tongue’ – to say it diplomatically.

Indepentant Greeks party issued a statement describing  Rogge’s statement as “historically ignorant, unacceptable and provocative,” and collaed Rooge to apologize.

Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) declared that “Unhistorical and arrogant Europeans officials bring every civilized man to laughter with their terrible statements. In a sense he is right, Jacques Rogge, as the modern Olympic Games of the multinationals and commerce have nothing to do with Ancient Greek Immortal Spirit.”

LAOS-leader Giorgos Karatzaferis spoke of “snobbish cravings of the international jet set” and added “The Olympic Games began in Greece in the 8th century BC, when people in Rogge’s country [Belgium] were eating acorns, when they weren’t eating each other.”

IOC Explanation


          Conteplating Rogge: A home is a home is a home is a home…

The President of the Greek Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, contacted the IOC and spoke with Jacques Rogge who issued a statement  saying:  

“As all students know, the Greeks gave birth to the Olympic Games, Greece is the birthplace (house) of the Olympics. But yesterday in my speech I said that Britain is “the home of modern sports” where rules and codes of many modern sports were invented and codified in the 19th century. In this sense, the United Kingdom is the home of modern sports but Athens is the home of the Olympics. “

Are the Greeks satisfied with this explanation? I doubt it – in this or in another sense…


 Rogge: Can someone tell me where’s the home of Olympics? In any sense!