The International Judo Federation (IJF) awarded the eighth judo dan to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Spokespeople for the federation pointed out Putin's contribution in the development of this sport, Unian said.
"As an honorary member of the IJF, the honored judo wrestler and the leader of a great country, Vladimir Putin is the perfect ambassador for our sport. To have a man of his rank and reputation with us is a great honor both for our international federation, and for the entire judo community. President Putin fully reflects the high values of judo," IJF President Marius Vizer said.
According to coach Anatoly Rakhlin, who has been training the president for eleven years, Putin deserved the award. "For judo, Putin has done a lot. He set up the International Judo Fund, he helped Olympic athletes and basically made a huge contribution to the development of the sport in general as a social phenomenon," he explained.
The coach described the awards ceremony: "The International Judo Federation issues a certificate - a plastic card - which indicates that Putin has been awarded the eighth dan. That's it." Usually, the certificate is sent by mail, but out of respect to the Russian president, the document will be delivered to him personally.
The eighth dan was awarded to only one Russian citizen besides Putin: well-known trainer and former president of the Russian Judo Federation, Gennady Kaletkin. This degree is awarded for outstanding achievements and development of martial arts.