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http://www.gamesbids.com/cgi-bin/news/viewnews.cgi?category=1&id=1178746264

Maria Sharapova Backs Sochi 2014 Olympic Bid

[FONT=verdana,arial,sans serif]Posted 5:31 pm ET (GamesBids.com)
[/FONT] International tennis star Maria Sharapova has thrown her support behind Sochi's bid for the 2014 Olympic Winter games.The 20 year-old has won both Wimbledon and the US Open, and was the first Russian player to top the WTA rankings.
"I lived [in Sochi] for five years" Sharapova told GamesBids.com in an exclusive interview from Los Angeles, "Sochi is an amazing city and I don't think a lot of people realize it will be such an incredible experience.
Sharapova said her love of tennis began when she was four years old in Sochi.
"I actually left there to go to America because I couldn't develop my tennis skills because in winter time there wasn't a lot of facilities.
She hopes that the Winter Olympics will leave a legacy of sports facilities for young athletes so they won't have to leave their country and city to train for their chosen sport as she was forced to do.
"It's a beautiful city and I'm so proud of it. I always tell my friends in America I want to take you there, I want to show you where I grew up."
While in the middle of the tennis season, Sharapova intends to bring her message about Sochi's bid along with her on her tennis tour for the next eight weeks.
Sharapova said that she will not be able to attend the bid election on July 4th in Guatemala because she will be competing at Wimbledon.
"Hopefully," she said.
Earlier today Sharapova announced that she was forced to withdraw from the Italian Open due to a sore shoulder.
Bid CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko 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 also dedication to humanitarian causes across the globe. Sochi 2014 is very proud to have Maria’s support as we seek to fulfil 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."
Sharapova joins several other international ambassadors representing Sochi in the final run up to the 2014 election.
 

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Are they going to start having ice tennis?
 

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her face looks a little round..
 

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Nice pics...Sochi would be a great place for the Winter Olympics!
 

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Thanks for the pics. :) Maria looks great as usual in them. :hearts: :drool: As for Sochi, i don`t know anything about it, but do plan on getting some info about it.
 

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Nice...I hope they get to host it! Sochi is a black sea resort town in Russia. It was recently featured in a US travel magazine and they also mentioned Maria and her being a product of a local tennis school there. Kafelnikov I think is also from Sochi.

It's great to see Maria backing Sochi's Olympic bid. :)
 

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OMG she looks so cute in some of the pictures

slighlt chubby but very cute
 
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I'm waiting for thegoldenlox's usual rant and the pic with the american cake/flags or whatever that was.
 

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Some of these close-ups look a bit unnatural. I think the photog used the wrong lens. Masha's face isn't that flat.
But watching them from about 4 ft away from the screen, they look OK.
 
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