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Putin Scores, He Wins and Then Falls Face First on Hockey Ice

LONDON — Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has lengthy cultivated a proud symbol as a person in keep an eye on, each at paintings and at play. He’s referred to as a fierce competitor within the ice hockey rink, after finding out to play the sport when he became 60 and developing the newbie Night time Hockey League in 2011.

However that symbol slipped, simply in brief, right through a pleasant sport on the Bolshoi Ice Area within the Black Sea hotel of Sochi on Friday. Video pictures displays a jubilant Mr. Putin and his group circling the rink on skates as they celebrated a 14-7 victory.

However as Mr. Putin takes his lap in entrance of his teammates, smiling and waving to lovers, basking within the cheers of the group, he falls — face first — onto the ice.

Two teammates rushed in useless to save lots of the president because it changed into transparent that he used to be headed for a faceplant.

Mr. Putin, 66, perceived to damage the autumn with each fingers, and seconds later, he used to be up once more, all smiles, cruising at the ice. Within the pictures, Mr. Putin’s teammates glance fearful as he is going down — and after he will get up.

The Russian president has been recognized for impressive public appearances, that 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.

Later, Mr. Berdymukhammedov unveiled a gilded statue of himself riding a horse.

Friday’s mishap at the Bolshoi Ice Arena in Sochi was harder to hide. A statement from the Kremlin made no mention of Mr. Putin’s fall. Neither did other Russian news reports. Still, the footage spread rapidly on social media, and many users of Twitter were amused.

The Russian president, who wears a No. 11 jersey for his pleasant video games, has seemed often at ice rinks with participants of the newbie Night time Hockey League. On Friday, he performed in a Hockey Legends group, at the side of a number of of getting old Russian stars.

They performed in opposition to a celeb solid of amateurs, together with Mr. Putin’s adolescence pal Gennady Timchenko, who is one of the businessmen matter to United States sanctions on account of Russia’s army motion on Ukraine.

In a speech on the match, Mr. Putin praised the 162 Russian groups that had traveled to play in Sochi.

“I noticed the so-called amateurs play,” he mentioned in line with a transcript posted on-line by means of his place of work. “It’s not really easy for our stars to play in opposition to you.”

There remained one level of competition from the fit, on the other hand: What number of targets did Mr. Putin ranking?

The Kremlin mentioned 9; the Tass information company mentioned 10. However newshounds from Reuters and The Related Press counted best 8.

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