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NOVO-OGARYOVO, February 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Thursday with the national bandy team, which won the 2016 World Bandy Championship earlier in the month, and told the players he would perhaps try playing this game, also dubbed as ‘the Russian ice hockey.’
National team’s player Yevgeny Ivanushkin presented Putin with a bandy stick and a ball and proposed that the president play this game as well.
"I will try," Putin said. "I do know how to skate already."
The 2016 World Bandy Championship kicked off held in Russia’s central city of Ulyanovsk on January 31 and after battling all through to the final reigning champions Russia met there Finland and confidently defended the title beating the Finnish squad 6-1.
This was the fourth consecutive and the tenth overall champion’s title for the Russian national bandy team since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Prior to that, the Soviet team won the title for 14 times after the inaugural Bandy World Championship was held in 1957.
Boris Skrynnik, the president of the Federation of International Bandy (FIB) announced on Friday that the sport of bandy could be possibly included in the Olympic program of competitions at the 2022 Winter Games in China’s Beijing.
Bandy was officially recognized as a winter sport competition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001. However, bandy featured as a demonstration sport at the VI Winter Olympic Games in Norway’s Oslo in 1952 and FIB was officially registered in 1955 by four founding countries, namely Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Soviet Union.
The 63-year-old Russian president, known for his avid support of sports development in Russia, is a black belt holder in judo and he regularly practices.
Five 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.