Putin in Canada House: 'Good luck, except in hockey'
Russian President Vladimir Putin shows handmade mittens presented to him at Canada House during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. (RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev / Presidential Press Service)
Published Friday, February 14, 2014 11:48AM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 14, 2014 4:33PM EST
Canadian athletes at Canada House in Sochi got a surprise visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday, who posed for photos – and made a few sly remarks about our hockey team.
Women's hockey team forward Hayley Wickenheiser tweeted that Putin wished Team Canada luck – except on the hockey ice.
Claire Hanna, a player with the Canadian national volleyball team, posted a video clip to YouTube of what Putin said next to athletes, coaches and families.
“Let us wish to meet our hockey teams in the final, in hockey,” the president said by way of an English-Russian translator. “And together we’ll enjoy their heart and their courage."
Judging from Wickenheiser’s shot and Hanna's video, it seems that Marcel Aubut, the head of the Canadian Olympic Committee, offered Putin a pair of Canadian Olympic Foundation red mittens before he went on his way.
Earlier in the day, Putin stopped by USA House...
… where reporter photos showed him enjoying a glass of red wine with members of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
President Putin visits USA House. "The wine is good." pic.twitter.com/zZyaquflWO— Nancy Armour (@nrarmour) February 14, 2014
U.S. luger Preston Griffall happily posted a photo of himself with Putin in the background. “No big deal,” he joked.
Putin has been enjoying himself making surprise visits to national houses all week. Earlier this week, he stopped in at Austria House, and visited Holland House, where he offered a hug to 3,000-metre speedskating winner, Ireen Wust.
“I got a cuddle from him,” Wust said, according to ABC News. “He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speedskater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 metres).”