President Putin scores in celebratory hockey game
Moscow: Vladimir Putin, the newly-installed Russian President, opted against the lavish inauguration balls seen in the United States, instead playing in a nationally-televised ice hockey exhibition match after he was sworn in on Monday.
The 59-year-old Russian politician scored one goal and set up another while playing for a Russian Amateur Hockey League select against a legends’ team boasting Vyacheslav Fetisov, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and NHL Hall of Famer who is also a senator for the ruling United Russia party.
In a speech after the match, Putin praised sport as a unifying force in Russian society.
“I’ve watched with great pleasure how people from the older generation come to sports facilities, how they stay in sport, how they engage with sport,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Opposition players often appeared reluctant to challenge the newly-installed President, who played in the No 11 jersey and signed his teammates’ kit after the game.
Putin scored one goal to level the scores at 3-3 and later provided the assist for jazz musician and United Russia member Igor Butman to score.
The match ended 4-4 and Putin opted to take the first shot in the resulting shootout, which he scored, before his team won when Fetisov shot high of the goal.
However, Putin’s performance was not flawless, as he fell when in control of the puck and unchallenged at one stage. The crowd at Moscow’s Megasport arena included former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, known as a friend of Putin.
Putin returned to presidency after winning Presidential Elections in March with 63 percent of the vote, amid accusations of irregularities with the voting process.
He was earlier president between 2000 and 2008, but was forced to step down in 2008 for constitutional reasons, and served as prime minister between 2008 and 2012. His latest presidential term runs until 2018.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Will Akhilesh-Rahul alliance be able to trump BJP in UP elections?
- Arms case: Salman Khan acquitted by Jodhpur court
- Raisina Dialogue 2017: Pakistan must walk away from terror, says PM Modi
- J&K: LeT militant gunned down by security forces in Bandipora
- Etah: School bus collides with truck, several children killed
- World's 30 most dynamic cities: Check out the full list
- China State TV said that its troops can reach New Delhi in 48 hours in war scenario; Indians slay it with their replies
- WATCH: Kieron Pollard's incredible one-handed six demoralises Fawad Ahmed
- IND vs ENG, 2nd ODI: Yuvraj Singh silences critics with 14th ODI hundred, fourth against England — WATCH
- Bengaluru pips Silicon Valley to become world's most dynamic city