Moscow: Tennis star Maria Sharapova has spoken of her delight that her former hometown of Sochi will host next year’s Winter Olympics, an event she hopes will put the Black Sea resort on the map worldwide.
Sharapova spent several years living in Sochi before migrating to Florida at the age of seven to pursue her dream of a tennis career.
“I’m very happy that we’ll have the Olympics,” she said on Russia’s Dozhd TV channel Tuesday.
“When I’d just flown to America, I told everyone that I was from Sochi. No one knew about it. I hope the Olympics will change that, and that everyone will know what a wonderful city there is in Russia.”
She added she would definitely return to Sochi for Russia’s first Winter Olympics, which will take place Feb 7-23 next year.
Sharapova defended her Stuttgart WTA Premier title Sunday, beating China's Li Na 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the clay-court tournament.