Putin the Biathlete, Sort Of

Mar 9, 2012 8:19am
gty vladimir putin dm 120309 wblog Putin the Biathlete, Sort Of

Dmitry Astakhov/AFP/Getty Images

Vladimir Putin tried his hand at the biathlon today. Sort of.

The Russian president-elect visited the Russian resort town of Sochi today, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, to meet the Russian Championship for Paralymic biathlon. The biathlon combines the cardio intense workout of cross-country skiing with the precision of rifle shooting.

According to Russian media reports Putin donned a pair of skis but didn’t stand. He also took few turns with the rifle, with the skis off, hitting three out of five targets. He had better luck with a rifle designed for visually-impaired athletes, which beeps when it’s on target, hitting four out of five.

Putin is famous for his macho photo-ops, which include him diving for sunken treasure, bobsledding, practicing judo, tagging polar bears, saving wild tigers, driving a formula one car, and riding a horse shirtless.

While in Sochi Putin also skied  with current President Dmitri Medvedev, who is expected to become Putin’s prime minister in a job swap. The two dined with an old friend, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who came to town to congratulate his old friend on Sunday’s electoral victory.

The three were photographed enjoying mulled wine slopeside.

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