… but the silence of our friends

In the end, we will remember, not the voice of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

This wonderful quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr came to mind after the now old news regarding Greece’s two star sprinters, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou. If you just arrived on planet Earth or were hiding in the jungle, the WADA were looking for them to conduct a surprise anti-dopping test. They didn’t show up and ended that same night in a hospital after getting involved in a car accident.

I am sure that many more pages will be written and will be added to all those already written about the Greek duo. Pages against them, and pages for them; pages in greek, in english, and many more languages. World renowned talking heads will say their say, and the IAAF as well as the IOC will issue their verdict. Case closed, good night…

However, in all fairness to the accused (and what are they actually accused of?) athletes, the world should take a minute, catch our collective breath, focus and let the two answer the proper questions to the proper authorities. The world focused in Athens last Friday night to watch a spectacular opening ceremony filled with history, human drama, emotion. Yet, there was no single broadcast (foreign and domestic) that didn’t go like this: “Oh yes, a wonderful show, but Kenteris this and Thanou that …”

And as if this was not enough, the sight of Greek TV stations turning into instant justice courtrooms was even worse. News websites cast the first e-stone. Most of all, I was surprised to see several public figures, who were accustomed to photo ops with our athletes after past triumphant events, now turning silent or turning outspokenly against them.

I do want to know why the two did not show up. I do want to know if they were under the influence of illegal substances. However, the Olympics is not the affair of two individuals. It is a heritage, a gift for the entire world. And that’s where people should focus their eyes and attention. The struggle of athletes as they give their best effort and as they bring the world closer together in peace.

Ioannis

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