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Russian president says athletic leader displays good example for colleagues

September 29, 2015, 6:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The 62-year-old Russian president, known for his avid support of sports development in Russia, is a black belt holder in judo

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© Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin says active and healthy style of life sets an example to follow for other state officials in the country.

"I am sure that, after all, any man in my place should set a positive example for other people," Russian President Putin was quoted as saying in an interview with US journalist Charlie Rose for CBS and PBS broadcasters. "In those areas where he can do so, he must do so."

"In the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a grave social situation in Russia; our social protection system was destroyed; numerous problems emerged which we have not been able to cope with effectively yet, to get rid of them, in health, sports development," the Russian president said.

"I believe a healthy lifestyle is an extremely important thing which underpins solution to numerous important problems, including the health of the nation," he said. "It is impossible to solve health problems of millions of people with the help of pills."

"People need to put it into practice, have passion for it; healthy lifestyle, fitness and sports should become fashionable," Putin said.

"I want everyone to know that Russia in general and the Russian leadership, it is something effective and properly functioning," the Russian president said. "That the country itself, its institutions, leaders are represented by healthy, capable people who are ready for cooperation with our partners in every single area: sports, politics, fight against modern threats. I have nothing but a positive feeling about it."

The 62-year-old Russian president, known for his avid support of sports development in Russia, is a black belt holder in judo.

Four years ago the International Judo Federation granted him an eighth Dan for his work to promote this sport. In his youth Putin was judo champion of his home city Leningrad, now called St. Petersburg. In 2008, he starred in the judo video "Let's Learn Judo With Vladimir Putin."

In his bid to bring to Russia FIA Formula One automobile competition, also known as the Royal Racing, Putin gunned down a F1 bolide on a race track outside Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg in 2010.

In what can be called the ‘fastest president in the world,’ he reached a speed of 240 kmph (150 mph). His racing lap added to his previous motorized stunts, which included piloting fighter jets and strategic bombers as well as riding Harley Davidson motorcycles with Russian bikers.

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