vladimir putin needs work on his abs—8/09

vladimir putin needs work on his abs—8/09

The Russian Prime Minister is an incredible athlete, so it may be nervy to comment on his physique. Nevertheless, now that I am aware of a good ab from a not-so-great ab, I would like to suggest that he work on his stomach area a bit as well. And you can look at my post of June 17th to compare President Obama’s mid-section with that of the Russian leader: The Battle of the Stomachs…much better than the Battle of the Bulge(s).

Vladimir Putin has buffed up his action-man image and raised the pin-up stakes among world leaders by posing barechested for another set of holiday pictures.
Photographs were published yesterday showing the Russian Prime Minister stripped to the waist riding a horse through rugged terrain during a brief holiday in the Siberian region of Tuva. Wearing only green fatigues, his eyes hidden behind reflective sunglasses, Mr Putin also showed his gentler side as he fed the horse from his hand after the ride.

The former KGB officer, a mountain skier and judo black belt, is a fitness fanatic who regularly starts his day with weight training in the gym and swimming in his country residence outside Moscow.

putin butterflying—great arms

putin butterflying—great arms

Mr Putin, who will be 57 in October, showed off a set of rippling arm muscles as he demonstrated his butterfly swimming stroke. The photos will inevitably trigger mass swooning by women all over Russia — as well as unfavourable comparisons of their husbands to Mr Putin’s manly physique. They will also confirm the Russian Prime Minister’s status as a gay icon.

Mr Putin camped overnight and went whitewater rafting down the region’s fast-flowing rivers, according to Russian news agencies. Other pictures show him walking through fields with a hat similar to that worn by Indiana Jones, the Hollywood adventurer.

During his presidency, the Kremlin deliberately promoted Mr Putin’s vigour as symbolic of revived Russian power in contrast to the era of his drunken and sickly predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. Many Russians were proud that their President projected such a virile image abroad.

The latest images are likely intended to remind them that Mr Putin is in robust health exactly a decade after he first came to power as acting Prime Minister in August 1999. The unspoken subtext is that he would be fit to return as president in 2012 if he chose to, ruling for up to another 12 years.

putin in great shape, but abs could improve

putin in great shape, but abs could improve

Mr Putin was also following a Soviet tradition of lauding the prowess, usually imaginary, of party leaders such as Leonid Brezhnev, who was fond of hunting for bears and wild boar. He grew so incapable towards the end that KGB officers would drug and tether animals to trees so that Mr Brezhnev could shoot them. President Medvedev, who has previously expressed a love of yoga, has so far refrained from emulating his mentor by stripping off for the cameras.

The pictures were taken just days after Mr Putin completed his latest action adventure by diving to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, in a mini-submarine.

He also attached a tracking device to a white whale named Dasha at a research centre, telling her “not to be angry” when advised that the creature had a habit of splashing visitors.

During President Obama’s visit to Moscow last month Mr Putin stole the limelight by joining a group of Hell’s Angels-style bikers called the Night Wolves. Dressed in black, he boasted that he had performed a wheelie.

He has also been shown co-piloting a fighter jet and shooting a tiger. He was first pictured shirtless while fishing and horse-riding during a visit to Tuva in 2007 with Prince Albert II of Monaco. One tabloid published a huge photo with a headline urging readers to “Be Like Putin” by following a series of exercises..

From The Times
August 5, 2009