Sochi-raised Maria Sharapova Backs Russia’s Olympic Winter Games Bid
The 20 year-old Wimbledon and U.S. Open winner, who grew up in Sochi, revealed her passion for the 2014 Candidate City on the Black Sea coast and shared her excitement at its unprecedented transformation plans that will directly improve the lives of millions of Russians.
Sharapova, a United Nations Goodwill ambassador, who became the first-ever Russian tennis player to top the WTA rankings, said:
“Sochi is the city where my love of tennis began when I was just four years old, watching my father on the local courts. I am thrilled to support Sochi 2014’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as it will leave an unprecedented social, sporting and environmental legacy for Russia and the Olympic Movement.
“The changes Sochi 2014 will bring to this region, including state-of-the-art, custom-built winter training facilities, will mean that youngsters will not have to travel to the other side of the world to realize their potential.
“Sochi is an incredibly beautiful place on the Black Sea coastline, with miles of beaches in front of the city and snow-covered mountains soaring behind. The bid has paid close attention to conserving the region's natural beauty in its Winter Games plans, which is something I care deeply about and another reason why I support what Sochi 2014 is trying to achieve.
“I urge all sports enthusiasts to support Sochi 2014 and help us bring incredible legacy to millions of people in Russia and inspiration to countless others around the globe.”
Sharapova will act as a key ambassador for Russia’s Winter Games Bid in the lead up to the critical International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote in Guatemala on 4 July 2007.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, CEO of the Sochi 2014 Bid Committee, said:
“Maria Sharapova is one of the world’s finest athletes, who has inspired millions of youngsters with her love of sport, hard work and dedication to humanitarian causes across the globe. Sochi 2014 is very proud to have Maria’s support as we seek to fulfill the dream of millions of Russians and bring the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to the world’s largest winter sports country for the first time.”
Sochi 2014 values the support of a host of international ambassadors, including recent Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year and Olympic Champion pole-vaulter, Yelena Isinbayeva; reigning Olympic champion figure skaters, Evgeny Plushenko, Tatyana Navka, Roman Kostomarov, Tatyana Totmyanina and Maxim Marinin, IOC member and four-time Olympic champion swimmer, Alexander Popov; reigning Olympic speed skating champion, Svetlana Zhurova; the most-titled Russian female figure skater in history, Irina Slutskaya; Sochi-born Olympic gold medallist and former world number one ranked men's tennis star, Evgeny Kafelnikov; Paralympic Winter and Summer Games medallist, Mikhail Terentiev; reigning Davis Cup tennis champions, Nikolay Davydenko, Marat Safin, Dimitry Tursunov, Mikhail Youzhny and Evgeny Korolev; reigning Olympic cross-country skiing champion, Evgeny Dementiev; three-time Olympic champion gymnast, Alexei Nemov and Russian National Bobsleigh team, Alexander Zubkov, Philipp Egorov, Alexei Seliverstov and Alexei Voevoda - amongst many others.
Note to Editors:
More information on Sochi 2014 ambassadors and other elements of Russia's Bid to host its first Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games can be found at: http://www.sochi2014.com/