Pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva has announced she will be returning to training in 2015 with hopes of winning a third Olympic gold medal in Rio, 2016.
Currently working in Sochi as the ceremonial mayor of the Athletes’ village, Isinbayeva told Reuters: “I do not plan to start training soon but I would like to try and compete at the Rio Olympics. Rio will be fantastic. I know the Brazilian people and they will have a great games.”
The 31-year-old had mentioned her desire to have children before the 2016 Olympic Games and has planned to take 2014 off, a season that will not include a global championships.
2013 proved to be a big year for Isinbayeva as she was voted Russian athlete of the year after winning the world title on home soil in the summer.
After the medal ceremony Isinbayeva spoke out against homosexuality, seemingly criticising those who supported gays and lesbians as she condemned high-jumper Emma Green Tregaro for her “rainbow-coloured nails,” an act that signified support of LGBT rights.
Although perhaps encouraged by some important individuals in Russia, who agreed with the ban on gay propaganda, this proved hugely controversial amongst the wider community, causing activists to threaten a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Isinbayeva subsequently issued a statement clarifying her views to the world.
Isinbayeva’s lengthy career has spanned 16 years and her list of successes includes an incredible 28 world records (15 outdoor and 13 indoor). She has been awarded the prestigious honour of IAAF world athlete of the year three times and is one of only nine athletes to win world titles at youth, junior and senior level. Athletics fans certainly look forward to seeing her back in action in 2015.