Moscow: Vladimir Putin has given his latest display of machismo – this time showing off his stick skills with six goals and five assists in a gala ice hockey game. Sporting a red jersey with the number 11 on his back, the 64-year-old took to the rink at Sochi’s Bolshoy Ice Dome.
However, the former KGB spy’s tough guy image took a knock when he fell over during the friendly Night Hockey League game.
He was showing off his skills with the puck when he lost his footing and hit the ice. Images of the tumble showed the judo black belt on his back with his legs in the air.
According to TASS, his teammates included his defence chief Sergei Shoigu and several Olympic champions including Vyacheslav Fetisov, Aleksey Kasatonov, Valery Kamensky and Pavel Bure.
The sports fan clearly enjoyed his side’s 17-6 victory and was seen fist-bumping teammates and waving to the crowd. He established the amateur league several years ago and reportedly played in the first gala game in Moscow on 7 May May, 2012, hours after his presidential inauguration at the Kremlin.
Before taking to the ice, he denied he had a hand in the sacking of former FBI director James Comey by US President Donald Trump. When questioned about the dismissal by CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, he said it would have “no effect” on US-Russia relations.
“Your question looks very funny for me. Don’t be angry with me. We have nothing to do with that,” he said in Russian, his remarks translated by his spokesman Dmitry Peskov. One of the world’s most powerful men, Putin is no stranger to displaying his manliness and athleticism.
In April 2010 he attached a satellite-tracking collar on a tranquilised polar bear. He has also shot a Siberian tiger with a tranquiliser gun. Other PR stunts include riding a horse and fishing bare-chested, tracking endangered whales with a crossbow, diving to the bottom of the Black Sea and flying a hang glider.