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Russia's two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayevatells Olympic Review why she will be playing her part in the YouthOlympic Games celebrations this summerYOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES32OLYMPIC REVIEW

Why did you agree to become a Youth OlympicGames Ambassador?This is a very exciting opportunity for me to pursuewhile I take a break from competition and I amhappy to play such an important role in gettingyoung people active.What are you most looking forward to aboutbeing a YOG Ambassador?I look forward to having a positive impact on youngpeople and can't wait for the Games to get underway this August. I will be in Singapore to support theathletes, to encourage them to do their best and to enjoy the whole experience.Would you have liked to have had the chance tocompete in the YOG?I took part in the World Youth Games when I was 17,but the Olympic Games is something special and to have that experience at such a young age will be very valuable for them.What elements of the Culture and Educationprogramme do you like the sound of most?It all looks like it will be a lot of fun and I think it is good that the young athletes will be able to learn about each other's cultures while they are competing. What do you think the YOG will bring to theOlympic Movement?I think the Youth Olympic Games provides the perfectvehicle with which to inspire young people aroundthe world to do incredible things through sport. What advice would you give to the youngathletes competing in the YOG who hope toemulate you as an Olympic champion one day?Since childhood I've learnt that you don't getanything in life without hard work and dedication, butI would also tell them that anything is possible in life. At what age did you set your sights onbecoming an Olympian?I've been dreaming about being an Olympicchampion since I was five years old, although mysport was then gymnastics. I was a gymnast fromwhen I was five until I was 15 and it was always mydream to be an Olympic champion and to be a greatgymnast. I'm really thankful for the time I spent ingymnastics because it has helped me achieve what I have in athletics.Who were your Olympic heroes as a youngster?I never had a hero and I still don't. I think thateveryone is an individual and everyone must be their own person. ?"I will be in Singapore to support the athletes, to encourage them to do their best and to enjoy the whole experience"Yelena IsinbayevaOlympic championYOG AMBASSADOROLYMPIC REVIEW33