Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva (born 3 June 1982) is a Russian pole vaulter. She is twice an Olympic gold medalist (2004 and 2008), five-times a World Champion, and the current world record holder in the event. As a result of her accomplishments, she is widely considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time.
Isinbayeva has been a major champion on nine occasions (Olympic, World outdoor and indoor champion and European outdoor and indoor champion). She was also the jackpot winner of the IAAF Golden League series in 2007 and 2009. After poor performances at world championships in 2009 and 2010, she took a year-long break from the sport.
She became the first woman to clear the five-metre barrier in 2005. Isinbayeva's current world records are 5.06 m outdoors, a record Isinbayeva set in Zurich in August 2009, and 5.00 m indoors, a record set in February 2009. The former was Isinbayeva's twenty-seventh pole vault world record.
Isinbayeva was named Female Athlete of the Year by the IAAF in 2004, 2005 and 2008, and World Sportswoman of the Year by Laureus in 2007 and 2009. She was given the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 2009.
Her father, Gadzhi Gadzhiyevich Isinbayev, is a plumber and a member of a small (130,000-people strong) ethnic group of Tabasarans who mostly live in Dagestan. Her mother, a shop assistant, is Russian. Isinbayeva also has a sister named Inna. Isinbayeva came from humble beginnings and remembers that her parents had to make many financial sacrifices in her early career.
She has both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree after graduating from the Volgograd State Academy of Physical Culture. Currently she is continuing her post-graduate studies there and also studying at the Donetsk National Technical University.
In the Russian club competitions she represents the railroad military team; she is formally an officer in the Russian army, and on 4 August 2005 she was given military rank of senior lieutenant before being promoted to captain in August 2008.
She features in Toshiba ads promoting their entire product line in Russia. She also appears in a Lady's Speed Stick advertisement in Russia.
On 2 December 2010 she held a passionate speech before the FIFA delegates in Zürich. Later on that occasion it was announced that Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Yelena Isinbayeva is now a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
From : www.wikipedia.org