Isinbayeva to be Mayor of main Olympic Village at Sochi 2014

Saturday, 15 December 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Yelena IsinbayevaDecember 14 - Double Olympic gold medallist and multiple world record holder for the pole vault Yelena Isinbayeva was today named as the Mayor of the main Olympic Village at Sochi 2014. 

The decision was confirmed following a meeting of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow.

"We have chosen Yelena Isinbayeva to be the mayor of the Athletes' Village in the coastal cluster," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, the chief executive and President of Sochi 2014.

"We believe she is the best candidate.

"Later we'll name the Mayor of the mountain cluster."

More details of Isinbayeva's appointment are expected to be announced shortly. 

Sochi 2014 are promising the "best conditions" ever for athletes at the Winter Olympics. 

Olympic Village 2 Sochi 2014Yelena Isinbayeva will be the honorary Mayor of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Village in the coastal cluster

The total area of the Olympic facilities will be more than 330,000 square metres, including 1,500 apartments - it should be complete by summer 2013.

Isinbayeva's main role will be to greet and meet the international athletes as they arrive and act as a figurehead.

She will follow in the footsteps of Charles Allen, the British businessman who performed the role at London 2012. 

At Vancouver 2010, there were co-Mayors in the shape of Tricia Smith, a former rower who had won a silver medal at Los Angeles 1984, and wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen. 

Isinbayeva, 30, who won the gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics before repeating the feat four years later in Beijing, was virtually unbeatable between 2003 and 2009.

After suffering a shock defeat at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, she took a break from the sport before making a comeback last year.

The Russian has said she is planning to stay in the sport until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after winning only a bronze medal at this year's Games in London.

The coastal cluster is located in the main Olympic Park near the centre of the Black Sea resort.

In addition to the Athletes' Village, it will house the Olympic Stadium and arenas for ice hockey, curling, figure skating and speedskating and the Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre.

The mountain cluster, located in Krasnaya Polyana 70 kilometres from central Sochi, will stage all the Alpine events, cross-country skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, luge and ski jumping.

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