MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Olympic champion and world record holder in the pole vault, Yelena Isinbayeva praised Moscow's bid to host the first 2010 Youth Olympics.
"I certainly support Moscow's bid. And on the whole, I think that holding such games is a brilliant idea for youth sport. I think that it will give children hope and impetus to develop," Isinbayeva said.
Moscow, along with Athens, Bangkok, Singapore, and Turin, is one of the five official candidates bidding for the right to host the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.
The 20-times world record holder from Volgograd in the Volga Region, said she hopes that the Youth Olympics will help to develop youth sports in Russia.
"Today children's sport is not very well developed, many sections are on a fee-paying basis and parents can't always afford the costs. Perhaps, thanks to the Olympics new facilities will be built, and children will be more interested in sport," she added.
Isinbayeva, 25, won her first victory at the age of 16 during the World Youth Games which was held under the patronage of Moscow for the first and only time in 1998. "Then they said ‘I came, I saw, I conquered.' This was only my third athletic competition. I had only just left gymnastics....And then surprised myself and everyone by winning," she said.
"The young have to wait so long to reach Olympic level. And here they will have their own games to train for and I think it is very good," Isinbayeva said.
The Youth Olympic Games are modeled on the Olympics, and are expected to involve around 3,200 athletes aged 14 to 18.