Before the games have officially begun, technology has struck twice. Actually, the tech is secondary to good old human error (and stupidity). First up: Flags! I said the games haven’t “officially” begun, but really, they have. To fit all the women’s soccer matches in, their tournament is already underway. The start of yesterday’s match between The People’s Republic of Korea (aka North Korea) and Columbia was delayed a full 65 minutes. And why were the players, who were lined up in a tunnel entrance to the field, made to wait? Turns out the jumbotron image that’s supposed to display electronic versions of competing team flags, was proudly (and wrongly) displaying the flag of South Korea. No word on why it took organizers (or organisers to those of you reading this from Olympic ground zero) over an hour to change the image, but there’s nothing like waiting around and being taunted by your neighbors’ flag to get a team riled up. Coming in as underdogs, the People’s Republic of Korea beat Columbia 2-0.
Next up: racism. Never good, even when you apologize for it later as an “unfortunate and tasteless joke.” Greek track and fielder, Voula Papachristou, who specializes in the triple-jump, decided it would be OK to, you know, pop off a couple tweets, one mocking African immigrants and another promoting a far-right Greek political party. Greece, for its part, has reacted with two simple words: bye-bye. Papachristou, who has presumably worked incredibly hard for most of her life, was given the heave-ho. Before the apology and before the oustre, Papachristou’s attitude might be likened to a rogue teenager. The BBC reports:
Earlier in the week, Papachristou had responded online, saying “that’s how I am” and that she was not like a stuck CD: “If I make mistakes, I don’t press the replay! I press Play and move on!”
I guess she’s really moving on now. And by moving on, I mean staying in Greece and not joining the Olympic team in London.