Putin Building a Sports Arsenal, But Not With Marat Safin

California Correspondent November 2, 2008 0

The NY Times has a great (but long) write up of Putin’s aspiration to make Russia a sporting superpower again. Russia’s hockey league has hired several former NHL stars, such as Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, and Alexei Morozov — in tennis, 7 of the top 14 women are Russian — in soccer, they imported the Dutch coach Guus Hiddink who led their team to the semifinals of the European championships — and across the country, oil-money is funding the development of dozens of new stadiums, arenas and rinks. 

One athlete who may not be faithfully serving his prime minster is Marat Safin, who at age 28 just exited the Paris Masters in the first round. Safin commented about his tennis future with this truly insightful nugget – “If I feel like I want to continue playing, I will. If not, it will be over.”

His girlfriend, left, was heard saying, “If I feel like covering my boobs, I will. If not, you will see my nips.”

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