Putin Shoots, Scores and Falls Face First on Hockey Ice Express News

LONDON — Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has long cultivated a proud image as a man in control, both at work and at play. He is known as a fierce competitor in the ice hockey rink, after learning to play the game when he turned 60 and creating the amateur Night Hockey League in 2011.

But that image slipped, just briefly, during a friendly game at the Bolshoi Ice Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday. Video footage shows a jubilant Mr. Putin and his team circling the rink on skates as they celebrated a 14-7 victory.

But as Mr. Putin takes his lap in front of his teammates, smiling and waving to fans, basking in the cheers of the crowd, he falls — face first — onto the ice.

Two teammates rushed in vain to save the president as it became clear that he was headed for a faceplant.

Mr. Putin, 66, appeared to break the fall with both arms, and seconds later, he was up again, all smiles, cruising on the ice. In the footage, Mr. Putin’s teammates look nervous as he goes down — and after he gets up.

The Russian president has been known for spectacular public appearances, which have taken him under the sea to inspect shipwrecks; to the wild dressed like a bird to lead a flock of rare Siberian cranes raised in captivity; and to the outdoors to hunt and ride a horse bare-chested.

Source link