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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Greece Triple Jumper voula papachristou is Expelled from London Olympics

LONDON — The supporters and critics of expelled triple jumper Voula Papachristou of Greece battled it out in a spirited debate — on Facebook, where else? — with the rhetoric often turning incendiary and, at times, profane.
She was kicked out of the London Olympics on Wednesday by the Greek Olympic Committee after a racist tweet. Social-media experts had thought that an athlete would probably land in some form of trouble because of a tweet during the Olympics.
But even before the opening ceremony?

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 2,774 comments on her Facebook page, referring to her statement of apology and a steady stream of comments on her Facebook wall. One American supporter started a petition "supporting her bid to compete." As of 2 p.m. (London time), there were three signatures.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old, who didn't even depart for London because the track and field competition starts next week, gave her first extensive interview on the controversy and expulsion, speaking to Reuters in Athens.
"I have not slept at all and to be honest I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened," she told the news agency.  "I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control.
"I am thankful to my coach and family and so many other people who have stuck by me.... After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision."


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