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For his latest challenge, Putin takes to ice rink

Vladimir Putin has put on a pair of skates for a hockey training session with teenage players at an ice rink in the Russian capital.

The 58-year-old Russian prime minister told reporters yesterday that he only started learning how to skate two months ago. Mr Putin has burnished his image with televised appearances that paint him as a strong, energetic leader eager to take on tough challenges. He has flown a fighter jet, rode a horse shirtless and shot a tiger with a tranquilliser gun.

Mr Putin and president Dmitry Medvedev have both said they would decide later who should run for president in 2012.

Irish Independent