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Weaknesses of the strong

5-6 (2010)
Viewed: 1856

In the modern world going in for sports — is required prestigious detail in image of public person. Russian politicians not only swear allegiance to the future Olympic Games, but also pay tribute to sports in their everyday life. And sports hobbies of the big persons influence directly on the development of big sports.

For rest and life.

In times of Stalin and Khruschev football was sport number one, and the Soviet football players in 1950-1960 were shining on international scenes like stars of the first magnitude. And there is simple, but influential explanation: the people's commissar of internal affairs Lavrenty Beriya supported «Dynamo». Sympathies of secretary general Leonid Brezhnev for hockey helped the promotion of the Soviet hockey to the world leading positions.

After disintegration of Soviet Union sports tastes of the state heads dramatically changed. The first president of Russia Boris Yeltsin, being the master of sports of the USSR in volleyball, unexpectedly became keen on tennis. The result did not keep us waiting: from the beginning of 2000 Russian sportsmen began to win prestigious international tournaments.

After Yeltsin came the master of sports in judo, actively fond of mountain skiing, Vladimir Putin. Soon, as one would expect, mountain skiing was mastered by many representatives of political elite of the country.

Present president Dmitry Medvedev went in for weightlifting and rowing in his youth. Now Medvedev is fond of yoga: «I can even stand on my head».

Sports pantophagy of establishment.

Active football fans in modern political elite of Russia are the vice-premier of the government Alexander Zhukov and the speaker of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov, who often play football.

In a football team «Rosich» with captain Zhukov also play: the assistant to the president Arcady Dvorkovich, the Minister for Emergency Measures of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoygu, Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, the Minister for Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism Vitaly Mutko, the chairman of the commission of the Federation Council for physical training, sports and development of the Olympic movement Vyacheslav Fetisov. Minister of Finance Alexey Kudrin is notable for his sports «pantophagy» — he likes to swim, play basketball, hockey, football and tennis. In winterprefers to spend spare time on Austrian mounting skiing resorts.

There they play.

Sports predilections of governors are often defined by specificity of sports development in region. The ex-head of Krasnoyarsk region Alexander Khloponin supports biathlon. Khloponin was noticed on mountain-skiing slopes of the French resort of Courchevel with businessman Vladimir Potanin. The ex-governor of Chukotka, oligarch Roman Abramovich bought English football club «Chelsea» in 2003: «We love England because it has one of the most competitive football leagues in Europe. It is easier to get a team here as many clubs have a high rating».

The governor of the Novosibirsk region Victor Tolokonsky is fond of basketball. He used sports even in pre-election campaign in 1999: when candidates were already forbidden to be officially advertized, he started to play billiards in one of the city clubs.

Sports hobbies of foreign leaders

Jacques Chirac — sumo. If Jacques Chirac were not the politician, he would be the sumo wrestler. The ex-president of France is the ardent admirer of ancient Japanese wrestling. He has the records of fights sent from Japan which he liked to look through again and again in his Champs-Elysees palace, drinking Mexican beer — his second hobby.

Hugo Chavez — baseball. Contrary to a popular belief, Hugo Chavez went to army not because of political career or education. He made it to realize his sport ambitions in baseball. Cherished dream of the future president of Venezuela was to play for San Francisco Giants team.

King Abdutta II — adrenaline. The king of Jordan Abdulla II — is the qualified diver, he used to fly on assault helicopters Cobra, made set of parachute jumps and regularly participates in motorcycle races. Once he became the rally champion of Jordan, and, frequently, participating in races, puts on his lucky T-shirt with number 99 — favourite number of his father.

What kinds of sports did first persons of Russia go in for?

Tsars …

Ivan the Terrible spent mane days hunting.Peter I since childhood played lapta and gorodki, loved billiards, which he learnt in Holland. Nikolay II was brought up in English manner: sport gymnastics, horse-riding, tennis.

… and leaders.

Young Lenin was made athlete-fancier by the imperial government which exiled him to Shushenskoye. Deprived of sedentary work, he started to do gymnastics every day, swam, and in winter, according to Nadezhda Krupskaya, he «even put his hands in pockets, as the real sportsman» while skating. Stalin liked to play billiards, and only few know, that he was a good boxer in youth. Nikita Khruschev not looking like sportsman at all, took a great interest in riding a bicycle in young years. And Leonid Brezhnev was the inveterate hunter.

Author: Irina Rodina