Viral Video Shows Vladimir Putin Suffering Embarrassing Mishap While Taking Victory Lap After Hockey Game

Nathan Francis

Vladimir Putin managed well enough in an exhibition hockey game in Moscow in which he netted eight goals against team filled with former NHL players.

It was the postgame victory lap that was the tricky part.

The Russian president took part in an annual "Legends" game in the Russia capital that included a number of Russian former pros like Slava Fetisov and Pavel Bure. As the New York Post reported, Putin was the star of the game with eight goals scored. (It's not clear how hard the other team was trying to stop the iron-fisted president from finding the back of the net, though one clip from SkyNews, below, seems to indicate a lack of resistance to one of Putin's goals.)

There were a number of other high-profile and Kremlin-connected players, including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (who had three goals) as well as billionaires Gennady Timchenko and Vladimir Potanin.

After the exhibition game ended, Putin and the rest of the players returned to the ice to take a victory lap and wave to the cheering crowd. As he approached center ice, Putin started to skate directly toward a rubber mat that had been placed onto the ice for a postgame ceremony, and despite some desperate warnings from his fellow players, Putin didn't see it in time. The Russian president skated directly into the mat, sending him falling face-first onto the mat and ice.

Putin made a quick recovery and hopped back up to his feet to continue waving, but wasn't able to avoid the embarrassment of the internet. The clip of Putin's fall went viral, with many mocking the on-ice blunder from a world leader who is very careful about maintaining his appearance as a tough man.