Russian President Vladimir Putin proves victorious on ice, winning a hockey match against old friends as part of celebrations to mark his 63rd birthday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Russian President Vladimir Putin marked his 63rd birthday on Wednesday (October 7) in his favorite Black Sea resort town of Sochi by taking part in an ice hockey match. The Russian leader showed off his skills in an arena used in the 2014 Winter Olympics, personally scoring seven goals. Cheered on by the crowd, his team, which included his defense minister Sergei Shoigu and a clutch of ex-NHL stars, won 15-10. The losing team included old friends of Putin, including some of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia. The event was the latest of many to show Putin as physically fit and victorious, part of a long-running Kremlin drive to show voters that Putin is the right man to run the country. Clad in an ice hockey uniform in the colors of the Russian flag, Putin was seen smiling and speeding across the ice. Putin's spokesman said the Russian leader would "modestly" celebrate after the match with his fellow players before probably spending the evening with his friends and loved ones. Putin, in power since 2000, was re-elected president in 2012. He will be eligible in 2018 to stand for another six-year term, which would keep him in office until 2024 if re-elected.