Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki
Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (born Ioanna Daskalaki on December 12, 1955 in Heraklion
Heraklion, or Heraclion is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete, Greece. It is the 4th largest city in Greece....

, Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

) is a Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 business woman. She is best known for being the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

 in Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. 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
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the largest Greek university, and the largest university in the Balkans. It was named after the philosopher Aristotle, who was born in Stageira, Chalcidice, about 55 km east of Thessaloniki, in Central Macedonia...

. 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 the late 1980s Mrs. Partheni-Daskalaki became actively involved in politics in Athens, initially elected municipal councillor and subsequently Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

. In 1990, she married secondly Greek shipping
Greek shipping
The Hellenic Merchant Marine refers to the Merchant Marine of Greece, engaged in commerce and transportation of goods and services universally. It consists of the merchant vessels owned by Greek civilians, flying either the Greek flag or a flag of convenience...

 and steel industry magnate Theodore Angelopoulos
Theodore Angelopoulos
Theodore Angelopoulos is a Greek businessman, a shipping magnate and a steel magnate.Angelopoulos lived in Switzerland for many years where he received his BSc in Business Administration from Zurich University. His family were pioneers in the Greek steel industry and began dealing in the dry cargo...

 and has since been working in the shipping business. The couple have a son and a daughter. Theodore Angelopoulos had a long-standing judicial dispute with his younger brother, Constantine Angelopoulos, over division of the family inheritance. 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
1996 Summer Olympics
The 1996 Summer Olympics of Atlanta, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States....

, 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
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 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
Juan Antonio Samaranch
Don Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquis of Samaranch, Grandee of Spain , known in Catalan as Joan Antoni Samaranch i Torelló , was a Catalan Spanish sports administrator who served as the seventh President of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001...

 and Jacques Rogge
Jacques Rogge
Jacques Rogge, Count Rogge , is a Belgian sports bureaucrat. He is the eighth and current President of the International Olympic Committee .-Life and career:...

 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
2012 Summer Olympic development
The 2012 Summer Olympic development is a process running from 2005 to 2012, following the successful London bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. While many of the plans were included in the bid portfolio, which gained the favour of the International Olympic Committee over the four other bids on 6...

, 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
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