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Papachristou: Greek Athlete Expelled From London Olympics 2012 Due to Racist Comment

A  racist comment was posted by Greek Triple Jump Champion Voula Papachristou in her Twitter account. A storm of angry reactions broke within minutes in the Greek social media with many internet users calling her a “Nazi” and “Chrysi Avgi supporter” and asking the Greek Olympic Committee to expel her.

The outcry was so strong that even coalition government partner Democratic Left to demand her expulsion from the Greek Olympics Team. The tweet, only two days before the start of the Summer Olympic Games 2012 in London certainly does not comply with the Olympic Spirit, does it?

 Tweet posted 23. July 2012 “With so many Africans in Greece… At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!!!”

When the storm broke, Papachristou posted another tweet apologizing for her comment even though with some grammar misspelling.

Tweet posted 25.July 2012: “I apologize if I insulted people! I have no mingling with politics!!! I am only Athlete!!”

The issue got political when Democratic Left issued a statement asking her expulsion:

“Racist humor and “jokes” concerning human lives are not tolerated by the Greek society,  can not thrive in Greek athletics. The least the  Greek Olympic Committee can do now is to revoke Ms Voula Papachristou from the Olympic Games. Watching the Olympics on TV screen, she could do as many vile “jokes” she wants through the social media. But for sure, she can not represent Greece in London.”

Voula Papachristou is a triple jump champion and member of the Greek team currently in London for the Summer Olympics Games 2012.

According to latest information, Greek Olympic Committee decided to expel Papachristou from the Olympic Games 2012. According to Zougla.gr, despite her apologies and explanations, the president of the committee Isidoros Kouvelos took a decision, negative for the participation of  Papachristou in London. The news portal reports that an official announcement is expected to be issued by the GOC.

UPDATE: 04:25 p.m. President of Greek Olympics Committee Isidoros Kouvelos confirmed at Skai TV the expulsion of Voula Papachristou. She is due to leave London for Athens. And say Goodbye to her dream due to a ‘stupid joke’ as she said…

The West Nile virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes of African origin. The disease can be fatal to some humans. This summer one man died and more than 180 were infected in Athens.


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  1. Well done ! Next one please ?
    Add to your article, that that funny girl is a great supporter of Kasidiaris, your can find some kind world to him after his fight with Kanelli …


  2. In the 1960’s “anti-racists” forced ALL and ONLY white countries to open their borders to massive non-white immigration. Then “anti-racists” forced ALL and ONLY white people to “integrate” or face the consequences of being a “naziwhowantstokill6millionjews.” Now these “anti-racists” are calculating that ALL and ONLY white children will become minorities and eventually extinct EVERYWHERE. If “anti-racists” did this to ALL and ONLY black countries, it would be called genocide. “Anti-racist” is a codeword for anti-white.

  3. Whoa….that is one really racist comment!

  4. I would like to follow her

  5. OMG this is not racist, I only interpreted this comment as the mosquito will have the taste for blood from their place of origin. Not to diminish that fack that the disease is very serious and no one person should be aflicted. Yes, a little poor taste. But to be banned, come on!

  6. Her commment was not racist. If a black person had made this comment they would not have been expelled. This is more anti-white racism. Keep it up and eventually the backlash will be punishing. People center and center right have had about enough of this left wing political correctness.

    • So you wouldn’t mind having a change of skin colour and spend a the rest of your days living the Bronx of Peckham or Smithfield or the Banlieus of Paris then?

  7. Personally, I think the Greek Olympic Committee had no choice. It seems that if they hadn’t expelled her, the International Olympic Committee would have.

    Regardless of what her personal political opinions are, Papachristou was very foolish to post what she did. She has definitely learned the hard way that her words carry more weight the minute she becomes a role model and representative of her country, and that as such the rule “Think before you tweet” is even more important!


    • keeptalkinggreece

      of course the IOC would do that. they said also so yesterday. unfortunately as the server was down i was n’t able to do some follow up

    • She hasn’t learned a thing! Her picture is plastered all over the XA site, like a page 3 girl in the British gutter press.

  8. The punishment does not fit the crime. Sure it was tasteless, but to say it was racist is taking it to the extreme. This is an overzealous attempt at political correctness that has in essence become censorship. It is just another example of a bad decision made by a dysfunctional public service administration that has brought the country to the situation it is in.

  9. Regardless if her tweet was either a bad taste joke, or it had racist overtones, or it was politically incorrect, or some people found it to be offensive or even macabre, or it outpaced her intellect or it was a way to express her displeasure for the presence of many Africans in Greece, or it was simply an irresponsible comment, there’s a universal right. In the birthplace of democracy, the right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION is cherished by its people and protected by its Constitution.

    No person is infallible. Voula Papachristou certainly made a silly mistake, which she recognized and via tweeter offered an apology*. I don’t know either the context in which her comment was made, or if she published on her personal twitter account a joke about Africans written by others, or if her tweet violated the code of conduct for Greek Olympic athletes, or if the HOC (Hellenic Olympic Committee) gave her an opportunity to explain herself. Therefore, commenting on the decision of the HOC to bar her from participating in the games of the 30th Olympiad is premature.

    What I object though is when for whatever reason some people are jumping in to conclusions, are quick to label other people, are intolerant & unforgiving and allow politics to influence the decision making process.

    * “I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights. My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races.

    I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family”. Voula Papachristou, July 25, 2012 12:02 PM (Tweeter apology).


      the real wisdom in using the freedom of speech and expression is to know when to shut up…

      • Ephilant

        Some people fail to recognize that there’s a tolerance threshold, exercise their constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech & expression, make foolish mistakes and suffer the consequences of their actions.

        • Some people need a brain transplant, or simple a brain to fill the current vacuum.
          This individual obviously has a talent, other than being obnoxiously offensive and foul mouthed, whether she stupidly repeated this nonsense or dreamt it up herself. And the excuse that “it’s all over the net” does not make it less offensive, leave alone ok.
          I think she should in fact be shipped over to Africa for a few years with no possibility of return and be made use her talent there to work with the African people in training etc. She might just learn a thing or to about being a human being instead of pretending to be one.
          Even “foolish mistakes” can be despicable, hurtful, and are totally unacceptable.

  10. Like it or not, the IOC is an organisation with a specific set of explicitly stated rules. Membership and participation in the Olympic competition is entirely dependent on abiding by these rules, and the spirit and substance of the public tweet was a clear breach of the code.

    I find it quite ridiculous that anyone, particularly authoritarians and nationalists, can fail to understand and accept this concept. Perhaps those rules should be different and perhaps the organisation should be different, but the rules and spirit are not in question.

    Thanks to ktg for your coverage once again and hope you manage to resolve your server bandwidth financing issues.

  11. Hi! This filthy comment of an ignorant Greek has made me outrageous. Ignorant and retarded people like her are unfortunately not living only in Greece but all over Europe. The best thing is that they are still the minority. She thinks that she is better than Africans just because she has lighter skin color and she has the right to throw such disparaging comments about Africans. Does she know that the north Europeans are looking down at south European like Greeks with despise? In Sweden for instant they call south European – svart skalle!, which means almost black head, an inferior and uncivilized.

    Do not forget your history. When Turks are murdering and raping Greeks the Greeks were forced once upon a time to migrate to Africa, especially to Ethiopia. And they have enjoyed the protection and hospitality of Ethiopians since then. The Ethiopians have never ever treated the Greeks minority badly.

    I love Greece. People like her can never change that!

    • Wow. You must be infallible.

    • I see you’re very accepting and tolerant, as long as the person thinks like you. Let me guess you’re left of center politically?

    • When Turks are murdering and raping Greeks the Greeks were forced once upon a time to migrate to Africa, especially to Ethiopia. And they have enjoyed the protection and hospitality of Ethiopians since then. The Ethiopians have never ever treated the Greeks minority badly.

      Just wait. You’ll be getting the love of Africa very soon. Hope you enjoy working to support them, as the country spirals even further into fiscal ruin.

      I love Greece.

      No, you don’t.

  12. Unfortunately, a majority of Greeks think just like her as this sick joke has been going around the Internet for awhile. I hope this serves as a message to all Greeks that racist comments have no place in this world as most civilized countries already know. Make a racist comment and you will pay the price. I also hope the government of Greece now tackles the daily beatings and attacks on immigrants which so far authorities are doing nothing it seems. The government’s response to Papachristou is a good start,

    • keeptalkinggreece

      govt’s response? Greek Olympic Committee

    • Kunta Kinte

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, the Hellenic Police should exhibit zero tolerance and do its utmost to apprehend the criminals who are verbally and physically abusing immigrants.

      The nearly 60% of the Greek prison population consisting of foreigners, who’re serving prison time for among others immigration violations, rape, murder, human trafficking, drug dealing, gun dealing, stealing, pimping upon their release from prison should be automatically repatriated.

    • I don’t agree with the statement that the majority of Greeks think like this, on the contrary. But is remain fact that there are those who unfortunately do, even if only 1, it’s one too many.
      Racism is evil personified and must be exposed and erradicated whenever encountered.

  13. *tweet (not tweep)

  14. @nicholas, crimes against Greeks are pursued by Greek police. Crimes against immigrants are not.

    @elephant it’s hard to be objective or see racism first hand when you are Greek, try living in darker skin and then get back to me, but your sentiment appreciated

    @Ktg Greek Olympic comittee arm of govt correct? Not NGO or private entity?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      well… in this case I supposed GOC had to abide rather to IOC rules than to government’s wishes. I would also wonder if Greek gov had such immediate reaction. but it’s not important, is it?

    • @Kunta Kinte It’s not just the skin colour. I remember the days in London when the pubs had signs on the doors “No Dogs, No Irish”, and only very recently a job advertisement in Australia which quite specifically stated “No Irish Need Apply”. I was once refused a job becasue of my accent, nothing else.
      The problem is not with the person being abused, it’s the abuser who for some reason believes that his/her skin colour, nationality, education, etc. makes him/her superior to everybody else. Different? Yes, and proud of it. It makes us who we are. Superior? You must be joking! But they are all the poorer for it, their loss.

    • Kunta Kinte

      Do you know how many immigrants are verbally and physically attacked in Greece annually? According to the Greek Ministry of Justice as of Jan 1 2012, 7,887 out of 12,479 inmates were foreigners, representing 63.2% of the total prison population*. The Greek taxpayers are the ones paying the bills. The estimated annual incarceration costs are exceeding €80 million. I’m not privy though to any information regarding the court expenses and the medical expenses related to treatment of injuries sustained by the victims of criminal attacks. The incarceration, medical, judicial and other costs related to crimes such as rape, drug trafficking, gun smuggling, physical assault, murder and others committed by immigrants against Greeks and/or other immigrants, can be calculated. The psychological pain and emotional torment experienced by the victims of crimes though, are both hard to fathom and put price tags on them.

      The Hellenic police arrested 132,524 undocumented immigrants and 1,150 human traffickers in 2010, and 99,368 illegal immigrants and 848 traffickers in 2011**. According to the Eurostat data in 2010, 954,800 foreigners lived and worked in Greece, representing 8.4% of the country’s population***. A couple of weeks ago, the Greek Minister of the Interior Mr. Evripidis Stylianidis put the number of immigrants to 1.3-1.5 million. Taking in to consideration the figures mentioned above, it’s likely that roughly 1.1 million immigrants are living in Greece right now. The country has an estimated population of 11.3 million people. Therefore, 9.7% of Greece’s population representing foreigners accounts for 63.2% of the total prison population. To me the official statistics are both staggering and deeply troubling.

      Some people for a variety of reasons, will challenge the accuracy and reliability of statistics provided by the Greek Ministries of Interior and Justice, the Hellenic Police, Frontex, Hellstat and Eurostat. Some of them will accuse both Greek government and European agencies for espousing fear mongering tactics, and conspiring to intentionally exaggerate the effects illegal immigration is having on the Greek society. As long as it’s NIMBY(Not In My Back Yard), the skeptics and conspiracy theorists will remain adamant in their beliefs. But, if they or their loved ones, GOD forbid, become victims of crimes then they might realize the magnitude of the problem. Their cases will soon be added to the Greek official crime stats.

      * http://www.ministryofjustice.gr/site/el/ΣΩΦΡΟΝΙΣΤΙΚΟbrΣΥΣΤΗΜΑ/Στατιστικάστοιχείακρατουμένων/ΓΕΝΙΚΟΣΣΤΑΤΙΣΤΙΚΟΣΠΙΝΑΚΑΣΚΡΑΤΟΥΜΕΝΩΝΠΟΙΝΩΝ.aspx

      ** http://www.astynomia.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&perform=view&id=5071&Itemid=429&lang=

      *** http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-01042011-BP/EN/3-01042011-BP-EN.PDF

      • Come on Niko, dont confuse people who have an agenda with trival things like facts! Etsy bravo padakia mou!

        • “Therefore, 9.7% of Greece’s population representing foreigners accounts for 63.2% of the total prison population. To me the official statistics are both staggering and deeply troubling.”

          That is indeed a staggering and deeply troubling statistic simply because any statistician anywhere in the world will immediately tell you this points to one thing, and one thing only; An almost exclusive targetting of a small percentage of the population by those supposed to uphold law & order for all. Nothing trivial about that fact!
          And it does of course beg the question why the other 90.3% of the population is not targetted with the same vigour?
          One simple example, the “illegal immigrant” found working is arrested and slammed in jail, the employer, who is also committing a crime, very often isn’t touched or, at best, gets a fine. Any statistic showing which group of the population the employer belongs to? I bet you it’s not he 9.7% bit…

          • Ephilant

            You wrote “That is indeed a staggering and deeply troubling statistic simply because any statistician anywhere in the world will immediately tell you this points to one thing, and one thing only; An almost exclusive targetting of a small percentage of the population by those supposed to uphold law & order for all”.

            It could also mean that: 1) Some of the 7,500 undocumented immigrant inmates have violated Greece’s immigration and labor laws and some of them were convicted in a court of law for the crimes of rape, extortion, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, drug dealing, gun dealing, pimping, physical assault, and human smuggling. 2) Either due to lack of human, technical and financial resources, or inefficiencies, or focusing on the wrong priorities or the unwillingness of the victims of crimes to step forward, the Hellenic Police could under report crime rates and apprehend only a fraction of the foreign and Greek criminals.

            I agree with you though that Greek employers who’re knowingly employ undocumented immigrant workers shouldn’t get away with just a slap on the wrist. The most effective deterrent is the passage of laws by the Hellenic Parliament coupled with the strict enforcement of these laws by government agencies. Laws imposing stiff fines, prohibiting convicted employers from getting government contracts, suspending their professional licenses for a period of time, or revoking them altogether, and even sending Greek employers to prison. Moreover, designing and implementing an e-verify system could be a step in the right direction. Namely, Greek employers could use an internet based, free, government run program to verify the immigration status of their prospective employees.

            The Greek government should also : 1) Consider increasing the number of work permits issued to foreigners in sectors of the economy where there’s a shortage of workers, 2) Curb bureaucracy and offer tax incentives to foreign companies willing to invest in areas such manufacturing, tourism, financial services, real estate, health care and others.

      • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

        Frontex is just a bunch of racist hunters and murderers like fortress Europe that deserves to get a real crisis and starve until real woods grow again. Just because 99% of its population is unable to feed itself and only exists because of exploiting the planet, bringing hunger to the rest of the world and dance to starvation. Just because Greece gots no balls to give the refugees papers to travel to the north everything is justified. Like the wage slave licking the patron. Just the existence of prisons show how sick these societies are and prison statistics work the other way round: systematic racism.

  15. giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

    But stealing the hair style from Africans:

    • keeptalkinggreece

      are you sure it’s not photoshop?

    • I guess that shows she isnt racist. Unless of course stating a fact like that there are a lot more Africans in Greece now, is racist?

      • If that was what she stated, it would indeed not be racist. But her statement didn’t state what you would like everybody to believe it did. Her statement is, apart from totally moronic, very much so a very racist statement. That IS fact.

      • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

        Stealing Fashion is Culture Imperialism and since the thirties Nazis also play black music to put their puke on.

  16. serves her right, who ever told her she is superior bloody coward

  17. The problem with many Greeks is that they just don’t think their coments are racist because they’ve never been taught that saying mean things are wrong. I see it with my neighbors who constantly bad mouth foreigners except the foreigner who happens to be there at the time.

    Most Greeks probably are not racist but certainly need to take a few sensitivity training courses, and learn not to be such boors and educate themselves on what the rest of the civilized world already knows. Racist or insulting jokes are not appropriate anymore, leave that back in the USA where it started in the early 1900s.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      they need courses on ‘political correctness’ but when you look at our politicians shouting at each other on TV… well… good manners are gone, especially now when everyone mistrusts everyone.

  18. Yes, I always get a kick out of those jouranlists screaming at each other all at once, and wonder how anyone can really hear the other!! But, I’m not sure if it’s true, but I tend to believe the more windows you see on the screen, the bigger the issue being discussed. My limit is 6 windows once. Have you ever seen more?

  19. I wonder if people have forgotten how the Olympic Games evolved?
    (The Ancient Olympic Games were a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms in Ancient Greece. During the games, all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until the games were finished.) The reason Voula Papachristou was expelled is because she clearly violated the reason for the Games existence. She had a duty of care to represent her country (especially Greece) in the manner of what the games were intended for and that is PEACE amongst all nations. No Political, Social or Religous beliefs should interupt the games. So in the end it means there is no room for personal opinions whether they be jokes or inappropiate comments aimed at rival athletes. Her job was to compete athleticaly and not verbally.

  20. The sad thing is that many of the comments above are actually far more offensive and in some instances far more more racist than the original post by the Greek athlete. Its a sad world.