Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki

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Gianna Angelopoulos–Daskalaki
Γιάννα Αγγελοπούλου-Δασκαλάκη
President of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
In office
2000–2004
Leader Jacques Rogge
Preceded by Michael Knight
Succeeded by Liu Qi
Personal details
Born (1955-12-12) 12 December 1955 (age 63)
Heraklion, Greece
Nationality Greek
Alma mater Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (born Ioanna Daskalaki, 12 December 1955) is a Greek businesswoman.[1] She is best known for being the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She was named one of the 50 most powerful women by Forbes magazine.

Early life

Born to a middle-class family in Heraklion, Crete, she distinguished herself academically and politically. Daskalaki studied law in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Personal life

In 1980 she married firstly businessman Georgios Parthenis, the father of fashion model and actor Alexandros Parthenis from a previous marriage. The couple had a daughter, Carolina Parthenis, but they later divorced.

In 1990, she married a second time to the Greek shipping and steel magnate Theodore Angelopoulos, and has since been working in shipping.[1] The couple have two sons - Theodore Angelopoulos had a long-standing judicial dispute with his younger brother, Constantine Angelopoulos, over the division of the family inheritance.

Political career

In the late 1980s, she became actively involved in politics in Athens, initially elected municipal councillor and subsequently Member of Parliament.

In 1998, she was appointed Ambassador at Large by the Greek government.[2][3] It was disclosed that she was paid for this role.[4]

Disappointed over losing the bid for the 100 Year Celebration of the revival of the Olympic Games in 1996, Greece officials decided to bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki was named president of the Bidding Committee,[1] making her the first female president of any Olympic organizing committee, and succeeded in bringing the games to Athens. She was however excluded from the initial organization committee that would prepare for the games.

When the International Olympic Committee questioned Greece's commitment to the games and its ability to complete all preparations prior to the opening ceremony, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki was asked to return and was named president of the Olympic Organizing Committee.[2] Under her watch competition facilities were completed and security issues were taken care of. IOC presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch[2] and Jacques Rogge both credit specifically Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki for the success of the games.

After the Games, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki attempted to establish a daily newspaper by buying the moribund "Eleftheros Typos" ("Free Press") title, but the daily failed to meet its sales goals and was eventually sold off.

Though she is popular in Greece, she has a number of critics, most often citing what is perceived as aggressive self-promotion.[2] She is the author of My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman's Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Mrs. Gianna Angelopoulos - Daskalaki". Xapital Link. Retrieved 2008-07-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Associated Press (2004-08-22). "Mrs. A. saves Olympics, challenges patriarchy". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2008-07-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Adam Reger. "Greek Ambassador-at-Large Gianna Angelopoulos to Give a Pitt Lecture March 28 About Her Country's Past and Future". Retrieved 6 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Former chief of Athens 2004 Olympics got paid for role as ambassador at large". Retrieved 6 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Australia Michael Knight
President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
2004
Succeeded by
China Liu Qi