Vladimir Putin’s name filled the headlines recently after being sworn in for his third term as the leader of Russia, making him the longest-serving leader of the country since Joseph Stalin.
Putin made headlines again, this time for his actions on the ice. Wait, what? You read that correctly. Putin took the ice for an amateur hockey team that was squaring off in an exhibition game against a group of some of Russia’s biggest hockey legends. The match took place literally hours after Putin was sworn in. The fact Putin played in a hockey game might be surprising as is. The fact Putin set up the game-tying goal and scored the game-winning goal in a shootout is remarkable.
Immediately we can hear some of you crying out that Putin’s performance was staged or fixed. On the surface, it doesn’t appear that way though your concerns are rational. Take the video and story for what it is – a lot of fun.
Putin’s team of various Russian amateurs took on a group of Russian legends led by two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vyacheslav Fetisov. The legends, along with Fetisov, were no match for the group of players from Russia’s Amateur Hockey League led by an unlikely face – Putin.
Putin nearly scored as soon as he hit the ice. In the final stages of the game, Putin set up the goal that brought the score level before burying the winner in a shootout. Putin’s shootout technique might not be the quickest or most graceful but you must give him credit for roofing a pretty nifty backhander to win the contest.
Despite your stance on Putin’s political record, you must admit that seeing a leader of a country take the ice in a hockey game – and play pretty well – is an extremely rare and fun sight to see.