Russia embraces youth

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Russia is being represented by a strong team of 124 athletes at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. The team, led by Aleksandr Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, included many athletes that will compete in London 2012 and Rio 2016 and has been accompanied by senior figures from Russian sport. The ambassador of the Youth Olympic Games is the famous Russian Olympic pole vaulting champion, Yelena Isinbayeva.

Zhukov has been joined by Vitaly Mutko, minister of sport, tourism and youth policy and Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee. The Russian delegation also includes five Sochi 2014 volunteers who were chosen by competition. Volunteers from Russia will take an active role in the Games. Members of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, selected by the organisers of the First Summer Youth Olympic Games, will work as assistants to the National Olympic Committee delegations (NOC assistants), taking roles such as interpreters at competition sites. Between 14 and 26 August, more than 3, 500 sportsmen and women will compete in Singapore in 201 disciplines of 29 different sports. Each competition has its own age group: age 15–16 (27 disciplines), age 16–17 (111 disciplines) or age 17–18 (63 disciplines). There are 124 athletes in the Russian Federation team. The Russian team includes world–class athletes as well as national champions. For the first time a blogger has received official accreditation for her coverage of the First Youth Olympic Games. The Russian, Dina Kucheryavenko, received this honour after writing the best post on Lifejournal about how the Olympic Games in Sochi might affect young people in Russia. Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of the Sochi 2014, said: "Singapore is the embodiment of youth. The young state is characterised by the same determination to succeed as the from all nationalities that are travelling to compete. This spirit of youth is also reflected in the mascots for the First Youth Olympic Games: they are like ordinary teenagers; they each have their own personalities, dreams, hobbies, and even star signs. As the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, we will be attending the Games as observers, so that we can consider the experience of our colleagues in Singapore when organising the Olympic Games in Sochi. "

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