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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

Why did you agree to become a Youth OlympicGames Ambassador?The Olympic Movement is really special to me and tohave the chance to be a part of the YOG is an honour.One of my goals has been to grow the sport ofswimming and encourage kids to live healthy, activelives. Being involved with the YOG is a greatopportunity to inspire young people around the worldto participate in sport and meet and interact with kidsfrom many different countries and cultures. The YOGwill be a great lesson in sport and in life.What are you most looking forward to about beinga YOG Ambassador?I really enjoy working and interacting with children. I have learned a lot through my own Olympicexperiences and always appreciate the opportunity toshare them with as many kids as possible. Would you have liked to have had the chance tocompete in the YOG?Absolutely! One of the best parts of being an Olympianis that you are part of a movement that brings thewhole world together. You get to meet people from all over the world, travel to different cities and areexposed to so many new cultures. The participants in the YOG will gain important lessons and experiencesthat will help them later in their athletic career and in life.What advice would you give to the young athletescompeting in the Youth Olympic Games who hopeto one day emulate you as an Olympic champion?Have fun and enjoy each moment of the wholeexperience.At what age did you set your sights on becomingan Olympian?Growing up I always wanted to be an Olympian. At anearly age, I learned the importance of having bigdreams and reaching them by setting day-to-day goals and then working hard to meet those goals.  Who were your Olympic heroes when you were younger?I've always admired other athletes both in and out ofmy sport. When I started in swimming, I was a hugefan of Pablo Morales. Pablo was always very friendlywith fans and people in the swimming world. Outsideof swimming, Michael Jordan is one of my heroesbecause of his success on court and the way he hasgrown the sport of basketball. ?YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES34OLYMPIC REVIEW