Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

'Action man' Putin hits the slopes of Sochi ahead of Winter Games

updated 3:54 PM EST, Fri January 3, 2014
Russian president Vladimir Putin hits the slopes of Sochi during a pre-Olympic Winter Games visit to the Black Sea resort. Russian president Vladimir Putin hits the slopes of Sochi during a pre-Olympic Winter Games visit to the Black Sea resort.
On the piste
VIP visitors
Security fears
Tough guy
Fall guy
Top facilities
  • Vladimir Putin hits the slopes in Sochi
  • Russian president dons skis on a visit to Winter Games host city
  • Practices on runs adjacent to the pistes used for Olympic competition
  • Visit comes amid security fears after attacks on Volgograd

(CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin never misses an opportunity to show off his 'action man' credentials and used a pre-Games visit to the Winter Olympics venue at Sochi to hit the ski slopes.

Putin did not test out the runs which will be used by the world's best in a little over a month, but instead strutted his stuff at an adjacent ski complex run by gas giant Gazprom.

Putin, who has staked his personal reputation on making the Games a success at the Black Sea resort, will likely spend several days inspecting the facilities, which come with a reported $50 billion price tag.

Putin vows to 'annihilate' terrorists
Can Putin keep winter games safe?
Putin: All welcome at Winter Olympics

Read: Sochi 2014 key to Putin's legacy?

"In the next days, the president will closely inspect the mountain and coastal sites and again verify the preparations made for the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games," a Sochi 2014 spokesman said.

His arrival in Sochi comes in the aftermath of two deadly explosions in Volgograd, which left over 30 people dead and cast fears over security arrangements for the Winter Games.

Security, already tight, has been ratcheted up across Russia and in particular around Sochi.

Putin visited a hospital in Volgograd on New Year's Day to speak with survivors of the blasts before heading 700km north to Sochi.

Read: Putin visits victims of Volgograd blasts

He has cultivated a 'tough guy' image in the past -- not least as an accomplished judo player -- reaching 6th dan and a similar rank in karate.

Putin has variously been pictured horse-riding bare-chested and swimming in a mountain stream in Siberia while on vacation.

He has also played ice hockey and sat in a bobsled used by the Russian team preparing for their home Olympics.

His prime minister, Dimitri Medvedev, also donned a black ski suit to ski alongside Putin and later inspect facilities.

Read: Mighty Putin, puny Medvedev

Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:38 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Click through our gallery of the most dramatic moments from the world of sport.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.