Sofia Sakorafa

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Sofia Sakorafa
Σοφία Σακοράφα
Greek part - Citizens’ Corner debate- Migration maze – policing Europe’s borders, whose job is it? (27093803063).jpg
Sakorafa, 2016
Member of the European Parliament
for Greece
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
for Athens B
In office
17 June 2012 – 5 May 2014
Succeeded by Fotini Kouvela
Personal details
Born (1957-04-29)29 April 1957
Trikala, Thessaly, Greece
Citizenship  Greece /  Palestine
Political party PASOK (2000 - 2010)
Syriza (2012 - 2015)
Independent (since 2015)
Sports career
Country Greece
Sport Women's Javelin

Sofia Sakorafa (Greek: Σοφία Σακοράφα, born 29 April 1957) is a Palestinian-Greek politician and former javelin thrower. She is currently an Independent Member of the European Parliament for Greece, having formerly sat for Syriza and before that served, from June 2012 to July 2014, as a Syriza Member of the Hellenic Parliament.


Sakorafa graduated in physical education from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.[1]


She started competing in athletics at age fifteen as a member of Trikala Gymnastic Club. In total, Sakorafa – often pushed by her antagonism with Anna Verouli – broke the Greek record for the javelin seventeen times. She competed in the 1976 and 1980 Summer Olympics.

Sakorafa broke the world record' on 16 September 1982 with a throw of 74.20 metres. That mark stood as a Greek record until the new javelin was introduced in 1999. She won the bronze medal at the 1982 European Championships in Athletics in Athens.

2004 Olympics[edit]

Sakorafa stirred controversy in 2004 when she became a Palestinian citizen and applied a few months before the Olympic Games for a berth on the Palestinian Olympic team at the age of 47. She made her debut representing Palestine in Chania, Crete, on 28 June 2004 - her performance was 47.23 metres. Despite the fact that her gesture to participate as a Palestinian was symbolic, the IAAF ruled her ineligible for the 2004 Summer Olympics.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Sakorafa worked in as a secondary teacher of physical education before working as a freelance. From 1994 to 1996, she served as an adviser to the sports minister and as Chairman of the Commission for Sport and Woman.[1]

Political career[edit]

She has served on the City Councils of Athens, from 1994 to 1998, and Maroussi, from 1998 to 2006. She was elected as a member of the Hellenic Parliament under the banner of PASOK three times (in the elections of 2000, 2007 and 2009).[1] She failed to win a seat in parliament following the 2004 elections.

On 6 May 2010 she refused to vote in favour of the austerity measures and the loan agreement between the Greek government and the IMF/EU. As a result, she was expelled from PASOK and served as an independent member of the parliament until 2012.[1]

She participated in the 2012 legislative elections as a member of Syriza and was elected in Athens B. In the Shadow Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras, she had responsibility for the interior.[1] She resigned from the Hellenic Parliament in May 2014 in order to contest the European Parliament election.

In the 2014 European Parliament elections, she was elected as a Member of European Parliament for Greece, representing Syriza. She is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Petitions and is a substitute for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. Since the 16 October 2014, she has been the chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America, having previously been a member. She is therefore also a member of the Conference of Delegation Chairs.[3]

On 28 September 2015, Sakorafa left Syriza and currently sits as an Independent within the GUE/NGL grouping.[3] She resigned from Syriza over disagreements with the leadership over the introduction of further austerity measures in Greece. She said: "It's clear that I cannot support any government nor any policies that involve measures that harm the people."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Sofia SAKORAFA". Syriza. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Olympics: IOC Blocks Greek Javelin Champion's Olympic Comeback for Palestine", Agence France-Presse, 11 August 2004
  3. ^ a b "Sofia Sakorafa - History of parliamentary service". European Parliament. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "SYRIZA MEP Sofia Sakorafa announces independence". Kathimerini. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

This article incorporates text from the article Sofia_Sakorafa on, which is licensed under the GFDL ([2]).

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bulgaria Antoaneta Todorova
Women's Javelin Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Finland Tiina Lillak