Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki

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Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (born Gianna Daskalaki on December 12, 1955 in Heraklion, Crete) is a Greek politician and business woman.[1] 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 working class family in Heraklion, Crete, she distinguished herself academically. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki studied Law in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and in the late 1980s became actively involved in politics in Athens, initially elected municipal councilor and subsequently Member of Parliament. In 1990, she married shipping magnate Theodore Angelopoulos and has since been working in the shipping business. In 1998, she was appointed Ambassador at Large by the Greek government.

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 and succeeded in bringing the Olympics 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 Organizing Committee.[2] 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.

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.