It could be the greatest irony in Olympic history: an Olympics without the Greeks.
For now, however, the main threat is to the debt-ridden country's track and field team. The Financial Times reports that Greece's athletics federation suspended the sport's operations yesterday to protest budget cuts. In 2011, the federation's budget was slashed by 25 percent, and this year, their request for a funding increase was rejected.
Wednesday, Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal caught a tweet from Greek freelance reporter Nathalie Savaricas, saying if no funding compromise with the government is reached, the country may have to pull their entire national team from the 2012 London Games. Savaricas also tweeted that debt faced by the athletic federation has cost coaches their pay.
Over the winter, athletes were training in indoor facilities with no heating. Dimitris Chondroukoukis, who won the men's high jump in last month's world indoor track and field championships in Istanbul, told the Financial Times, "Training conditions in Athens are unacceptable because of the cuts."
Next month, the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame is scheduled in Olympia, Greece, where the games were born. But if Greek teams don't secure funding for London, the ceremony could prove rather painful for the already struggling nation.