Following the expulsion of Greek triple-jump athlete Voula Papachristou from the London Olympics for a racist tweet, sympathies for her are divided in Greece. Her coach has claimed that her expulsion is an "overreaction" in light of her apology.
George Pomaski, coach to the disgraced Olympian hopeful Voula Papachristou, has claimed the expulsion was an "overreaction", especially considering her apology. Whilst Papachristou has generated some sympathy on social media sites after claiming her tweet which read"With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!" was an "unfortunate and tasteless joke", which she copied from a Facebook account, she has attracted criticism for open support of the far-right party Golden Dawn (Chysi Avgi).
Ekathimerini reported that on Tuesday Papachristou retweeted a post by Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris, suggesting that Prime Minister Samara's "tough stance on immigrants is just posturing."
Athens News reported Papachristou's support for Golden Dawn, as indicated by an earlier tweet to Kasidiaris urging him to remain "truthful", has brought further criticism upon her. Kasidiaris is the Golden Dawn MP who came to international prominence following his physical attack on Communist Party (KKE) MP Liana Kanelli during a live television broadcast in June.
Golden Dawn has objected to the decision by the Hellenic Olympic Committee to expel Papachristou from the games. A statement on the political party's website says "The only racism in Greece is the racism against the Greeks," adding "Anybody who says even a word against illegal immigrants is held up to public ridicule. It would be more honest to pass a law condemning everybody who has different views to death by stoning."
The Democratic Left supported the decision to expel the 23-year-old athlete, issuing a statement saying "Let her make any miserable 'jokes' on social media while watching the games on TV. She definitely cannot represent Greece in London." Meanwhile, supporters of the Greek athlete have urged she be shown forgiveness for her misinterpreted post, following her apology.