The President of the Greek Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, hosted a special event on Thursday to honor the Greek team at the Olympic 2016. They were all there. Except, the athlete who held the first Gold medal for Greece in Rio: Anna Korakaki.
The embarrassing “gaffe” (?) by the personnel at the Presidential Mansion triggered an outcry in the media thus forcing the presidency to seek several excuses.
The initial position was that “Korakaki was invited but she did not attend because she was vacation” and that “The President had talked with her father.”
From France where she currently is, Anna Korakaki dismissed the claims saying that there was never an invitation. In a statement on her Facebook account, Korakaki hit back writing:
“The truth is I was never invited by anyone and any efforts trying to falsify this truth, in order to justify their unjustifiable ‘mistake’, is sad and undignified.
The fact I’m on holiday is just a good excuse for those who decided I shouldn’t be there … because I believe they did not in fact forget but actually they chose this.
It has made me terribly disappointed that nobody informed me or even asked me, as had been agreed, and this comes on top of dozens of similar incidents and behavior I’ve been faced with.
“It’s like ‘Korakaki doesn’t exist, didn’t go to Rio and didn’t achieve anything, she’s just a ghost’.” (via Reuters)
The event was allegedly supposed to take place in early September, but for some reason it was organized to take place on 25th August.
Apparently, last minute changes occurred, and several athletes who arrived in Athens on Thursday drove directly from the airport to the event in downtown Athens.
According to Reuters, the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) played down suggestions she was deliberately snubbed for her criticism at the state support of athletes.
“It’s not a case of the athlete not being invited,” a HOC spokesman said. “The decision by the government to hold the event came late yesterday afternoon and many other athletes could not attend.”
The Presidency let Korakaki know that she would have a special meeting with the President once she is back in Greece.
In Rio, 19-year-old Anna Korakaki, 19, won a Gold medal in 25-metre pistol shooting and a bronze in 10-metre air pistol.
The Greek Olympic team won 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
And then …this! No excuse!
PS most probably a staff member at the presidency thought ‘why spend money for a phone call or post stamps to inform Korakaki of the changes, if she is not here anyway?’ …. just kidding.