The Embassy of Greece in Canberra sent a letter of complaint to the Seven Network regarding the historical inaccuracies its commentators made about Philip the Second and Alexander the Great during the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.
Andrew Gaze, the host of the opening ceremony coverage on Australia’s Seven Network, connected the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) with Alexander the Great and his father, King Phillip the Second. The historical inaccuracy infuriated many Greek Australians who channeled their anger and frustration through social media.
Even though the International Olympic Committee recognizes the Balkan state as FYROM, Skopje is making an effort to call themselves “Macedonia” and usurp Greek history by trying to falsely appropriate Alexander the Great in their own history. When the FYROM team entered the stadium, the commentator spoke of Alexander the Great and his participation in the Olympics of his time.
In their letter, the Greek embassy ask the television station to restore historical truth in order to satisfy thousands of Australians of Greek descent who were offended by the comment.
Greek Australians reacted formally through The Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, while hundreds of others used Twitter to express their indignation directly to Gaze.
The host said he was reading from a prepared script. “If it is incorrect or wasn’t communicated correctly, I sincerely apologise,” Gaze responded on Twitter.