16 November, 2005
Gianna Angelopoulos, the chairwoman of the Athens Olympics Organizing Committee 'Athens 2004' was guest of honor at the presentation of a new book on the Olympic movement entitled "Olympic Gold" that took place at Zappeion Hall in Athens on Tuesday.
The book was presented by former marketing director for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Michael Payne, who has since joined Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One management team.
Presenting the book, Payne stressed that "the biggest race in the Olympic Games had turned the most unlikely winner: Athens".
The book describes the history of managing the unique sporting event of the Olympic Games in the past 25 years, when Juan Antonio Samaranch was at the helm, ending with the absolutely successful Olympics that took place in Athens.
Payne noted that Athens, more than any other Olympic city, had been mercilessly criticized by the media, particularly the Anglo-Saxon media.
"The Greeks were considered inadequate before the Games had even begun. Athens managed to dispel this image of a stagnant and dirty third-world city. It changed the impression that Greece is the poor relation of Europe, placing on the level of countries that can offer everything," he said.
Angelopoulos herself figures large in the book, which outlined the difficult course of organizing the Athens Games and highlighted her personal contribution to the final and hugely successful outcome.
The book is published by "Ellinika Grammata" and also outlines the drive by Samaranch and his team to "pull back the Olympic Games from the brink of catastrophe and make it into the most well-known trademark and an extremely expensive world franchise".
Source: Athens News Agency