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Greek swimmer invited, then uninvited, to Rio Games

2012 Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The Olympic Cauldron burns as the national flag of Greece is raised during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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Despite competing in the 2012 Olympics and placing 12th in the women’s 100m butterfly event, Greek swimmer Kristel Vourna was surprised on July 6 to receive a formal invitation to the 2016 Games. She had only achieved the B-standard time, according Greek newspaper Kathimerini.

Eight days after that invitation came, however, FINA discovered it had made a mistake. Swimming’s governing body admitted to an administrative error and told Vourna she did not, in fact, qualify for the Games.

Then, in an effort to make up for the mistake, FINA offered Vourna an opportunity to attend the Olympics – as a spectator. She “angrily” turned down the offer and said she is an “athlete and not a tourist,” according to the report.

So the 24-year-old Vourna will not be in Rio. She could, however, make her second Olympic appearance in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

American Dana Vollmer is the defending Olympic champion in the women’s 100m butterfly, and will try to defend her title in Rio, this time as a mother.

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