Before, during and short after the Olympic Games of 2004, the media used to call her “the iron lady of Greece”. Married to one of most powerful and rich businessmen of the country, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, became best known to Greece and else where for being the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Despite her success in managing the organization of the Games, she also had “a number of critics, most often citing what is perceived as aggressive self-promotion”. Not to mention criticism and lavish life-style.
Now, the iron lady has written a book that bears the title”My Greek Drama”. Although the book has not been relased yet, we read in Amazon com:
“My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman’s Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country
Standing alone in the VIP box of the Olympic Games in 2004, Gianna Angelopoulos began to dance. The world had doubted Greece’s ability to successfully stage this global event. She danced to celebrate the efforts of all Greeks–and her own–to host a phenomenally successful games, an effort that showed the world a new Greece, a Greece worthy of its illustrious heritage.
Little did she know that a few years later her country would abandon the lessons of the Olympics and become embroiled in a political and economic crisis that would devastate Greece, and threaten the economic security of Europe.
In My Greek Drama, Gianna Angelopoulos–known in her home country simply as ”Gianna”–has written a memoir that is as much about Greece’s journey as her own.
From her childhood in Crete, to law school in Thessaloniki, to Athens, where she overcame male-dominated legal and political cultures to help redefine public service in Greece, Gianna worked her way into becoming one of the most respected women in Greek public life.
Balancing motherhood, business, and a place in the upper echelons of world society, Gianna never lost her passion for public service and brought the 2004 Olympic Games back from the brink of catastrophe to what was later called an ”unforgettable dream games.”
Her life, her Cinderella love story, and her intensity of will are equally unforgettable. From stories of handing out basil seeds on the streets of Athens to entertaining royalty and political leaders in London, Zurich, and Athens, My Greek Drama captures the burning ambition of the rebellious girl from the island of Crete who ”lit” the Olympic torch. Her story should help rekindle the spirit of the Greek people, and of every person who has ever struggled to change the world.” (amazon.com)
Upon hearing the news, a friend told me, she would most probably borrow money to buy the book and see if -apart from Gianna’s personal Olympics drama-, there was any explicit economic reference to the cost of the Olympic Games and its possible impact to the Greek economic collapse that took the country six years later to the IMF rescue mechanism and pushed thousands of Greek households into a real tragedy.
“Of course, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki will make a reference to the cost of the Olympic Games, if she ever wants to play a role in the politics of this country,” I told my friend. She looked at me with mistrust, decided to spend the nearly 25 euro (book price $26.95) she would borrow to pay her outstanding water bill and said “Oh…whatever! We will learn everything about what she wrote from the Greek press.” 🙂