The Greek government has selected the organizing chief of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens to lead preparations for Greece’s bicentenary independence celebration in 2021.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ new administration announced the appointment of businesswoman Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki after the two met in late July.
The celebration will mark the 200th anniversary of Greece’s revolt against the Ottoman Turkish Empire that led to the creation of the modern Greek state.
Greek independence from Ottoman rule officially began in 1830 — after nine years of war— but the initial revolution began in 1821.
A statement from Mitsotakis’ office said the 2021 festivities would allow Greece “to reintroduce itself” to the world after its long economic crisis. The office said events would be staged in Athens, regional towns and cities abroad.
“2021 will be a year when all Greeks will celebrate together and unite the 200 years of freedom of the Greek state, proud of our past and confident of our future,” Mitsotakis said.
Angelopoulou-Daskalaki expressed her gratitude to the government for giving her the opportunity to handle an “important” issue for her country.
“I thank the prime minister for the confidence and the honor to entrust me with the responsibility of such an important issue for the Greek people and Greece,” Angelopoulou-Daskalaki said. “We will do our best together.”
Angelopoulou-Daskalaki formerly served as a lawmaker in Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party. As the first female president of any Olympic organizing committee, she was widely credited for successfully planning the 2004 Olympic Games after previous organizers almost ruined the already expensive project.
She is also a best-selling author, as her book My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman’s Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country, debuted at #18 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller list in June 2013. The book later became a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.
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