Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin recently made some waves with his outspoken support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, but it looks like he isn’t the controversial leader’s top fan in sports.
That title now belongs to MMA fighter Alexander Emelianenko. Emelianko, whose brother Fedor is in the same line of business, wrote a poem Saturday encapsulating his feelings about Putin.
The piece – translated by Slava Malamud of Sport-Express – goes like this:
We are proud of our leader
We are proud of Putin forever
He is the strongest, the highest, the fastest
He is like our guiding star
I will follow our President forward
Through water and through flames
He got Russia off its knees
He pulled it up by its ears
With you, Vladimir Putin, I sleep at night without fear that tomorrow will come
And nobody will be protect us
Keep ruling our world
For Russia, you are air and water
Our flag, the hero of Russia
We will follow you to the end.
Given that this is a translation, unfortunately it would be unfair to evaluate Emelianko’s merit as a poet. It’s pretty fair to say it doesn’t work in English, but perhaps it flows like a gentle river in Russian.
What we can say is that the tone is a little overwrought combining aspirational bromance and over-the-top nationalism. His art would probably be better served by a pinch of subtlety. The best poems don’t beat you over the head with their themes.
Ultimately, the idea a prominent Russian athlete would support Putin isn’t particularly surprising. The way, Emelianko chose to express that support, though, most certainly is.
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