Putin’s New Challenge(r)

Because counting coup with Siberian tigers and riding horseback bare-chested just don’t sate his virile appetite, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has received a worthy wrestling partner from the Iranians: a leopard.

Maybe Putin had to go into the animal kingdom for a worthy adversary because his wrestling (but not in that way) partner Russian President Dmitry Medvedev no longer provided a challenge.

Who knows what the PM is thinking? I do know that if Volodya ever wants to test his mettle against Chuck Norris I wouldn’t want to be within a continent and a half of such a clash.

The ABC story states, “Tough guy Putin is an unlikely environmentalist…”

Does this imply that environmentalists, as a general rule, are limp-wristed pansies?

As we do after every post centered on El Putin, here’s an oldie but a goodie:

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Vladimir Putin: the Answer to Russia’s Olympic Woes

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics just concluded yesterday and once again my fatherland turned in a dazzling performance… NOT. México’s Winter Olympic team consisted of one man, Hubertus von Hohenlohe, a slalom skier.

El Beto (who is of German descent) managed to come in 46th and 78th in the slalom and giant slalom respectively. I bring this up not to puff up my nationalistic sensitivites (as if) but to accentuate the contrast in expectations.

The Russian delegation, relative to México’s one man wrecking crew, performed gloriously. By gloriously, I mean they managed to not only win a medal but eleven of them, three of them gold! México has never sniffed a medal in a Winter Olympics.

Yet for all this, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev came out and lambasted his nation’s performance in Vancouver,

Medvedev calls for resignations after Russia flops at Winter Olympics

Dima made some apparently helpful suggestions,

We need to think about how we change our training methods. The new training system should focus on athletes who should be put at its cornerstone, not sports federations and their executives — and not even the trainers, with all our great respect to them. Athletes are those who bring victories, and they should become the focus of our attention.

We can’t even blame Russia’s “poor performance” on the fact that the Soviet Union is a thing of the past. The combined medal won by all former Soviet republics is 22, which would have put the USSR in 5th place right behind Norway.

I’m sure Medvedev is going to summon experts to come up with better methods to increase his nation’s medal hauls at the Summer Games in London (2012) and the next Winter Games in Sochi (2014). I, however, have more helpful advice and it’ll probably cost less rubles.

Unleash your one man wrecking crew, Prime Minister Putin. He would be a lock for gold in the following events:

Badminton

Equestrian

Judo

Shooting Sports

President Medvedev, in your pal, Mr. Putin, you have a national treasure but more importantly, an athletic and versatile golden goose.

If you don’t want him, surely I can petition the Mexican government to grant him honorary citizenship so at least we can hold our heads high at the next Olympic Games.

I can see it now in Sochi, El Putin and El Beto wiping the floor with the field in the 2-man luge and the cheers ringing out from El Zócalo to Cabo San Lucas: ¡Putin! ¡Putin! ¡Putin!

Nancy Bearigan Does What Comes Naturally

Apparently it is common in Russia to teach bears how to ice skate and play ice hockey for the spectacle of it all.

Bear

In one particular case, this had fatal consequences for one trainer:

Ice-skating circus bear ‘tears trainer to pieces’ in front of horrified children

When I hear of tragic events such as this one, Chris Rock’s words in response to allegations of Montecore’s (the tiger that nearly killed Roy Horn) insanity come to mind:

That tiger ain’t go crazy; that tiger went tiger! You know when he was really crazy? When he was riding around on a unicycle with a Hitler helmet on!

The same could be applied to the bear that killed its handler. The bear didn’t go nuts, he was nuts when he was pulling off triple toe loops up and down the rink.

Gotta feel bad for the trainer’s family and friends, and the parents of the poor kids, who witnessed the mauling, will be forking over some serious soms to pay for a lifetime of therapy bills.

I still don’t see why the bear had to be put down, he’s only doing what bears do, no?

Before Bobby Valentine, there was Vladimir Putin

Back in our college days, my friends and I would frequent one of our glorious university’s computer labs. Since we attended college at around the time that chat rooms were beginning to proliferate, our time was spent talking to people we’d never meet.

Naturally, using the anonymity that the ‘Net grants, we’d play all sorts of pranks on each other. Without going into detail, let’s just say that some of them were epic.

This kind of tomfoolery would extend to acquaintances. We knew these 2 guys and on one occurrence we tried to punk them via chat room. They must have caught on because one of them (the spymaster) sent the other on a mission unworthy of Dzerzhinsky.

The fact that our counterespionage efforts uncovered the plot reveals the efficacy of our nemesis’ total lack of subterfuge. After this incident we glossed this guy, “Beano the Spy”.

It is this lack of subterfuge and underhandedness to which I pay tribute to on this day.

Exhibit A is former New York Mets skipper, Bobby Valentine. Bobby was ejected from a game and then came back to the dugout looking like this,
bobby-valentine

Exhibit B, I’m afraid, is anachronistic. At the time the following picture was taken, we didn’t know that the spy in question would later become Russia’s President and more importantly, because of his unfortunate last name, the butt of many Mexicans’ jokes,

putin

Source: Pete Souza

Here’s the story behind the picture:

“Undercover Putin In KGB Reagan Ruse”

Putin is Wild at Heart

As noted before, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is into overt displays of masculinity.

Tranquilizing tigers, manning monster trucks, fly fishing, flying fighter jets are but a few of the things Putin has done, and now we can add teaching judo to the list,
Macho Putin in yet ANOTHER display of masculinity as he releases ‘Let’s learn judo with Vladimir’ DVD

I think Volodya is ready for MMA

According to the story, Putin said,

‘Without sports, it’s impossible to speak of a healthy way of life, about the health of the nation as such,’ he said.

Good for the 56-year-old leader for choosing not to live a sedentary lifestyle, and it does make one wonder if someone slipped him a copy of John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart (below)

Unfortunately, people are still laughing at his surname in México…

Putin Downs a Tiger, México keeps laughing…

AP

Are we playing “Capture the Flag” or “King of the Hill”?

Yeah I know Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin looks like he’s in the middle of a rather extreme (no face mask!) game of paintball, but no that’s not the case.

No, Volodya  went on a little expedition to save the Siberian tiger (that’s a tranquilizer gun by the way).

Russia’s Putin tracks tiger in latest TV escapade

According to the story, this is but another attempt to boost the Prime Minister’s manly man image.

In eight years as president, the popular Putin burnished his image with televised appearances that painted him as a tough, healthy and energetic young leader eager to take on new challenges.

Good for him (for caring enough about the magnificent beasts) but I know that at least in México, with a surname like Putin he’s going to have to do a little more than brandish a glorified paintball gun marker to toughen up his image.

Nastia Liukin Haliukins Rest of the Field to take Gold

Every four years we, as a nation, care about gymnastics, women gymnastics that is (as for the men we collectively care about them as much as we care about the WNBA).

Last night’s women’s all-around final was no exception as many people around the country (my wife and I included) stayed up until midnight to watch American Nastia Liukin win gold and teammate Shawn Johnson take silver (and Chinese gymnast Yang Yilin and her cadre of judges take bronze). I was shocked to learn this morning that even my boss (who misses the latter parts of Houston Rockets late playoff games) stayed up to watch the drama unfold.

Liukin and Johnson push each other to all-around glory

After the Russian-born Liukin won, I couldn’t help but think if the Russian team was bitter because they could have had her on their team had her parents not moved to the States when she was 2.

Although Shawn Johnson got the silver, could the “Coca-Cola Curse” (second cousin to the Madden Curse) prevented her from getting gold? Could her appearance on commemorative 12-pk Coca-Cola boxes (below) prevented her from getting gold?

Let’s just hope that doesn’t extend to her boxmate, LeBron James as he tries to restore former glory to USA Basketball.

If you’re wondering what in the world Haliukins is in reference to, here is a hint: