Vladimir Putin falls on his face during victory lap after ice hockey match
Russian President Vladimir Putin played in an exhibition ice hockey game with former National Hockey League players on Friday at Sochi’s Bolshoy Ice Dome. While the official Ktremlin release said the Russia president scored 10 goas, the Associated Press reported that the president scored 8 goals while his teammate, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, scored three goals.
Tycoon Gennady Timchenko who happens to be Putin's childhood friend, billionaire Vladimir Potanin and several Russian governors made up the opposition team in the game along with other amateur players.
The game is an annual tradition and this year Putin played on the 'Legends' team alongside Russian hockey stars such as Slava Fetisov and Pavel Bure. During the post-victory lap, the Russian President was waving to the crowd when he took a face-first spill. The video from the event and even pictures of the President's fall went viral on social media. Putin seemed fine after the tumble. The match, like the other occasional ones that Putin takes part in, are televised with much fanfare and pomp.
Putin played the center forward in his traditional No 11 shirt and got multiple opportunities to score thanks to his linemates, and according to The Guardian, the Russian president did not face much resistance by the opposition team's defense.
The first goal was scored just a couple minutes into the game by Putin by beating the goalkeeper. He became the top scorer by adding 7 (9) goals to the first one. Last year, Putin had scored 5 goals, which was 2 less than the year before. In 2015, Putin scored eight goals.
This was President Putin's seventh straight appearance at Russia’s Night Hockey League, which he established in 2011.