Thursday, August 2, 2012

Voula Papachristou

I normally pay about as much attention the Olympics these days as I do the Acadmey Awards -- that is not at all. I came out of that shell for a few minutes today and discovered that Voula Papachristou has been dropped from her country's team because of a allegedly "racist" joke she made on Twitter. Translated it was:

"With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food!!!"

WTF? That isn't even in particularly poor taste so I dug a bit more (meaning I plugged her name into some search engines and followed the bunny trails). It seems that Ms. Papachristou has shown some sympathy for the Golden Dawn Party in Greece. Perceived as being "far-right" and "nationalist" the party is very much in disfavor with the ruling classes. Perhaps wishing to divert negative press for their part in the meltdown of the EU, the Greek state decided to take advantage of Ms. Papachristou's very minor gaffe and throw her under the bus.

I do think she was badly mistreated by her government. What she did hardly deserves removal from a place she worked very hard to get to. Still, her removal from the team does demonstrate that the Olympic Games are not about the athletes. No more now than they were in 1936 when the Nazis tried to use them to demonstrate the superiority of the "Aryan Race" (whatever in the hell that is). They were and still are about the glory of the state.

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