Legendary pole vaulter Sergei Bubka, currently president of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee, announced Tuesday his candidacy to succeed Jacques Rogge as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Bubka announced he would run for one of the most important offices in sport as the IOC opened a meeting of its executive committee in St Petersburg.
"Yesterday I contacted the president (Rogge) and I informed him I will present my candidacy for the IOC presidency," he said.
"Why did I decide to announce here? Because 30 years ago, in this beautiful city my career started as a professionnal pole vaulter. I qualified for the World Championships in athletics"
"I consider it is a good place to announce my candidacy and start a new journey in my life"
"Sport is in my blood, sport is my genes". I have always searched to give back. Without sport I would not be in front of you."
Bubka, who is also deputy president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), won Olympic pole vault gold at Seoul in 1988 and six world championship titles during his career.
He set 35 world records including the still unbeaten mark of 6.15 metres.
Germany's Thomas Bach, Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, Wu Ching-kuo of Thaiwan, Puerto Rican Richard Carrion and Denis Oswald of Switzerland are the other candidates to date for the post of the IOC chief, one of the most important jobs in world sport.
The vote to decide who will replace Rogge will take place at the IOC's general session in Buenos Aires in September.