Voula Papachristou is a complete stranger to me, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to pass judgment on the disgraced athlete. After all, every single person on this planet has done something astronomically stupid at some point in their lives. However, when you have so much at stake, so much positivity in your corner, why in the world would you want to throw it all away just to make a totally inappropriate and completely unnecessary joke on Twitter? After all, none of the folks on the popular micro-blogging site are going to give you a medal for all of your hard work. In fact, the same people who thought your post was funny will turn around and make fun of you for getting kicked out of the Olympics over something moronic.
If you’re in the dark on this subject, let’s find you some enlightenment: Days before she was scheduled to fly to London to participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Papachristou took to her Twitter page to issue the following message. For what reason, you ask? I’m not entirely sure. Regardless of her intent, the comment was ill-received from just about everybody who read it.
“With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!” she wrote. Not surprisingly, the Hellenic Olympic Committee was none too pleased with her outrageous statement, prompting officials to kick her off the team.
What in the hell was she thinking? Honestly, I’m not sure if she knew what she was doing at the time. Regardless of her intent or the guilt she feels as a direct result, her Olympic dreams have been effectively shattered over a pointless joke on a meaningless social network website. All of that hard work and training was ultimately for nothing.
As damage control, Voula issued this English-language response:
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.
Today’s lesson: If you want to destroy your dreams of competing in any major sporting event, say something racist on a website where millions of people can read what you wrote. That way, everyone knows you’re a moron for throwing everything away for an extremely cheap laugh.