With a 140 character message, triple jumper Voula Papachristou leaped her way out of the London Olympics and into an international spotlight she did not anticipate.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee expelled Papachristou from the team after the 23-year-old Greek mocked African immigrants on her Twitter account. The committee said that Papachristou was "placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic Movement."
While gearing up for her first Olympic games on Sunday, Papachristou commented on the reported influx of West Nile mosquitos in Athens. She tweeted in Greek, "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!" Her tweet provoked a bevy of ill responses, and many Greeks called for her dismissal from the Olympic team.
Papachristou also retweeted messages from the extreme right Golden Dawn party, which has criticized Greek's prime minister and his stance on immigration.
The triple jumper stood by her comments on Tuesday, tweeting, "That's how I am. I laugh. I am not a CD to get stuck!!! And if I make mistakes, I don't press the replay! I press Play and move on!!!"
Papachristou backed away from that stance when her trip to London was cut short before it even started. She apologized on Facebook and Twitter Wednesday morning and called her joke "unfortunate and tasteless."
"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," said Papachristou on Twitter and Facebook.
The sudden about face did not sway everyone.
"Let her make any miserable 'jokes' on social media while watching the games on TV," said the Democratic Left, a party in Greece's coalition government, in a statement. "She definitely cannot represent Greece in London."