Greeks suspend sprinters

I hope they remove the olympic medals of Kenteris and Thanou. The newspapers around the world were writing for years that these two Greek national heroes are on doping drugs, however the greeks didn’t wanna hear it: “they just can’t stomach the fact that greeks are now good in sprinting”, they kept saying.

I knew Kenteris long before any common greeks found out about him (I used to follow track&field in Greece from 1988 to 1994 vigorously as I did some javellin myself when I was a teenager). And Thanou –what a coincidence– is originally from the *next* village that I grew up (I am from Skiadas, she is from Polystafyllo, just 4 Km away, small villages at the Ipeiros mountains (“Lakka Souliou” for the Greeks)). I haven’t met her in person (she grew up in Athens), but I have met her parents and grandparents a few times (mostly in social gatherings, like weddings in the village).

Being away from Greece makes you evaluate better the situation. Greeks have a tendency to be extremists when it comes to the “pride of their country” and stuff. I was never like that, I am not “pro-country” for any country. I am a hard-core cold-blood realist. I was always the one that would critisize their way of life and their belief that they are somehow the “center of the world”. They aren’t, and no one gives a shit about Greece abroad, other than having good time on their islands during vacation. That created quite some hostility between myself and some Greeks who used to read my rants about the Greek way of life, but I don’t care. *I love* Greece, but I love it for different reasons than they do. I love the intimacy between people (also a big problem at the same time), I love my family, I love the sea, I love the greek food. I hate the weather (too hot for my taste) and a slew of other things that I better not get into because it will create a stir (again).

In short, I hope they force Kenteris, Thanou and their coach out of their careers. They don’t deserve the “halleloujah”, it was an open secret that they were using drugs, it’s just that most greeks all these years didn’t wanna believe it (reading the web pages of many greek sport sites they would talk about “war against our heroes from people abroad” and other crap like that). Time to grow up and face reality lads. There’s “no smoke without a fire somewhere”, as you say.

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