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Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (born Ioanna Daskalaki on December 12, 1955 in Heraklion, Crete) is a Greek business woman. She is best known for being the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. She was named one of the 50 most powerful women by Forbes magazine.
Born to a middle-class family in Heraklion, Crete, she distinguished herself academically and politically. Daskalaki studied law in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
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; they later divorced.
In 1990, she married a second time to Greek shipping and steel industry magnate Theodore Angelopoulos and has since been working in the shipping business. The couple has two sons. Theodore Angelopoulos had a long-standing judicial dispute with his younger brother, Constantine Angelopoulos, over division of the family inheritance.
In the late 1980s Mrs. Partheni-Daskalaki became actively involved in politics in Athens, initially elected municipal councillor and subsequently Member of Parliament.
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, 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. Under her watch competition facilities were completed and security issues were taken care of. IOC presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch 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 highly popular in Greece, she also has a number of critics, most often citing what is perceived as aggressive self-promotion. In 2009 she will be honoured by the London 2012 Organizing Committee, as one of the most successful Presidents of the Olympic Games. Additionally, she is going to contribute to the preparation of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, as honorary member of the Organizing Committee.
She is the author of My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman's Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country.
|President of Organizing Committee for Olympic Games
- "Mrs. Gianna Angelopoulos - Daskalaki". Xapital Link. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- Associated Press (2004-08-22). "Mrs. A. saves Olympics, challenges patriarchy". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- 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.
- "Former chief of Athens 2004 Olympics got paid for role as ambassador at large". Retrieved 6 May 2013.