Another Rio Olympics Mix-up: Greek Swimmer Invited to Rio, then Uninvited



kristel vournaIt must have been a celebratory occasion when Greek swimmer Kristel Vourna received a formal invitation to the Rio Olympic Games on July 6.

According to Kathimerini, Vourna was surprised as she had only achieved a B-standard time.

The 24-year-old swimmer had previously competed in the 2012 Olympics, placing 12th in the women’s 100m butterfly event, and was looking forward to another chance to participate in the Olympic games.

To her dismay, the celebration was short lived as eight days after receiving the invitation, Vourna was informed by FINA that there had been a mix-up and an administrative error and that she was in fact not qualified for the event and she was for all intents and purposes, uninvited to participate in the games.

FINA tried to compensate the swimmer by offering her the opportunity to attend the games as a spectator, however, Vourna did not feel as though the offer was gracious as she responded, quite understandably, angrily at the invitation to watch the games.

She was reported by Kathimerini as saying that she is an “athlete and not a tourist,” as she turned down FINA’s offer to visit the games as a spectator.