Move over, he-men of the world. Sixty-two-year-old Vladmir Putin is cornering the market on masculine mojo. Fictional male role models like The Marlboro Man, the World’s Most Interesting Man (of Dos Equis commercial and internet meme notoriety), and The Fonz often create the kind of archetype that can be difficult to measure up to in the real world. But Russian President Vladmir Putin lives the image of a flesh and blood Superman and he’s not the least bit shy about strutting his stuff in the public eye.
As noted by The Irish Examiner, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev posted pictures of his morning workout with Vladimir Putin on Twitter recently. The pics were taken in the gym of a state residence in Sochi, Russia, near the Black Sea.
A workout with the President pic.twitter.com/IyQvFgXz0O
— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) August 30, 2015
Television network Russia Today also aired a video package of the high-impact workout session between Putin and Medvedev.
Irish-based news source The Independent noted that the two men ate grilled steak for breakfast and also watched a tournament of Russian judo during their get-together.
According to The Irish Examiner, the event was staged and publicized to improve Vladmir Putin’s image in the midst of domestic and foreign crises as well as declining approval ratings for the Russian president. But it’s worth noting that Putin has, on a number of occasions during his time in power, cultivated a rugged image of strength and masculinity.
One of Putin’s most enduring displays of macho madness was the release of a series of photos released in 2009 showing the Russian political powerhouse on vacation in Siberia’s Tuva region. Reuters published a number of the pictures which featured Putin shirtless, riding horses, shooting weapons, and swimming. Putin was also shown participating in a judo exhibition and riding a snowmobile.
The recent exhibition of strength and fitness isn’t the first such outing for Vladmir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev. The Daily Mail notes that the two recently attended a Russian martial arts tournament, sitting ringside for some of the matches and hob-knobbing with the athletes during and after the event. Although Medvedev doesn’t flaunt his physique and prowess as often as Putin, the prime minister is apparently an enthusiast of badminton and ice hockey.
It’s hard to tell if a few carefully-orchestrated photos and video clips will ease the minds of Russians who are concerned with economic issues and tension over pressing matters like the crisis in Ukraine. But considering that The Kremlin is well-known as a pressurized crucible of high-stakes politics, it’s apparent that Russian President Vladmir Putin is keen to let his opponents know that he’s up for any challenge these days.
[Image via Huffington Post]