Watch Vladimir Putin Play a Game of Ice Hockey, Score Six Goals (and Five Assists)

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 11 2014 6:27 PM

Watch Vladimir Putin Play a Game of Ice Hockey, Score Six Goals (and Five Assists)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin plays hockey on Saturday

Photo by ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin held another demonstration of his athletic, macho ways this weekend, as his ice hockey team trounced its rivals in the final game of an amateur league. Putin scored an impressive six goals and five assists in the game that featured a few Russian hockey legends, reports ABC News. That stellar performance by the 61-year-old head of state helped his team, the Festival of Stars, trounce its opponent 21-to-4. It may be “a lopsided victory by usual hockey standards, but not uncommon for Mr. Putin’s team,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

Even though it seemed as if “most defenders were keen to let [Putin] skate around unimpeded,” as USA Today notes, Russian ice hockey star Pavel Bure said the game demonstrated how the head of state is in “excellent shape,” according to Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency. The Kremlin-friendly agency said that Putin had promised a group of young athletes six years ago that he’d learn how to play hockey “and kept his word.” That doesn’t mean Putin is a gloater: “There are no winners or losers here. This is a friendly game. It’s a show and everyone enjoyed it.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.