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In the Well: Jose Damiani

Jose DamianiJosé Damiani is one of the most influential administrators in the history of bridge. As President of the French Bridge Federation, European Bridge League, World Bridge Federation, and most recently, the International Mind Sport Association, he has been the leader of the movement to define bridge as a sport, culminating in the International Olympic Committee’s recognition of the WBF as a World Sport Organization. Among his many other accomplishments are the establishment of the Transnational events at the World Championships, the World Simultaneous Pairs, and the World Mind Sports Games. Today, he enters the Well to answer your questions.

José was born in 1939 and studied Law at the University of Paris, and Economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). He then worked as an entrepreneur for 40 years, creating and managing companies to be sold to international groups. With his children Caroline, Laurent, and Emmanuel, he created a sport marketing agency which works with various sporting events throughout the world. Now retired, he lives in Paris and Corsica with his wife Monique and welcomes spending time with his nine grandchildren.

José learned bridge at University, but only started to play seriously at the age of 30 after developing hip troubles that prevented him from participating in more physical sports such as tennis and skiing. He won his first of five French National Championships in 1978, and made made the final of the World Pairs Championships later that year. At the world level, he finished 4th in the Rosenblum in 1986, and 5th in 1994. He is a World International Master in the WBF ranking, but he spends most of his time as an administrator, using his skills in marketing to promote bridge as a sport throughout France, Europe, and worldwide. For his efforts, he has been honored with the title of Officer of the Légion d’Honneur and awarded the Gold medal of the Jeunesse et des Sports.

Editor's note: I am opening the Well Tuesday evening in America but Mr. Damiani will be answering in European Standard Time, so it may take a few hours before the first replies.

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