ATHENS, Greece — Triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked off Greece’s Olympic team Wednesday for her comments on Twitter mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right political party.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee said Papachristou is “placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement.”
“It’s the same as violating fair play,” Papachristou’s Twitter account (@papaxristoutj) contained several retweets and links to sites and YouTube videos promoting the views of Golden Dawn, a formerly marginal extreme right party.
But it was her attempt at a joke Sunday that got the most attention.
Commenting on the widely reported appearance of Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens, Papachristou wrote: “With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!” Her tweet prompted thousands of negative comments that snowballed Wednesday.
SILENT PROTEST: The widows of two Israeli Olympians killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics are urging spectators to stage a silent protest during Friday’s opening ceremony.
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano are demanding that London organizers recognize their husbands’ deaths and honor them at Olympic Stadium 40 years after the slayings.
Since organizers have rejected a moment of silence for the 11 slain Israeli athletes and coaches, the widows say the silent protest will be a victory in their fight to have the men remembered at the proper place and time.
TENNIS: Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka are seeded No. 1 for the Olympic singles tournaments at Wimbledon.
Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Novak Djokovic is seeded No. 2 and Wimbledon winner Serena Williams is seeded fourth.
FLAG BEARER: Two-time Olympic fencing champion Mariel Zagunis will carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony.
The U.S. Olympic Committee said she won a vote of the 529-strong team ahead of Friday’s ceremony.
She was the first American to win a fencing gold in 100 years at the 2004 Athens Games.