Sochi – For months star Russian luger Marko “the Bear” Rameus has been training nights at the Olympic track here, accompanied by a mysterious helmeted man. With a huge security force patrolling the perimeter, onlookers could only hear the swish of the sled, and occasional manly grunts.
But today Rameus finally came forward with his partner, Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We will win the gold,” Putin declared. “We have been luging hard and fast, two men together as one.”
Putin called the event his secret passion. “I’ve been practicing by myself for many years,” he added. “Watching film, visualizing, working on my technique.” The Russian leader denied reports that he backed out of the biathlon after the IOC declined to permit the use of “realistic” shooting targets from Chechnya.
Putting an arm around Rameus, the Lycra-clad head of state said he wanted to set an example for all children. “Dare to dream,” he said. “Follow your heart, and let gravity do the rest.”
The lugers also announced that Putin would be on top of the two man team. “It’s a matter of aerodynamics,” Putin said. “The top generates downward thrust and my hips are better for speed.”
Rameus, with his considerable girth and experience, will steer from the bottom. “You have to almost feel by instinct,” Rameus said. “Sometimes it’s all over before you can even take a breath.”
Asked if they ever experimented with trading places, Putin and Rameus smiled. “Only after a lot of Vodka,” Putin said.