He is fearless, altruistic, steel-willed, hospitable,unbelievably hardy, unpretentious and warm-and he has lost none of these qualities since becoming Russia's president.
Praise bestowed on the Kremlin leader ranges from young judoist Putin fighting "like a snow leopard" to many years later his being visibly moved when decorated war veterans in the Kremlin stood up in salute as he entered the hall.
Putin also used the media opportunity to quiz his sports minister on the progress of another of his hobbies in its bid for Olympic recognition. The Prime Minister also practices sambo, a martial art that is used in training for members of the Russian security forces, but Vitaly Mutko did not have good news for his leader.
Putin is a one-time judo champion of his home city St.Petersburg.
He is also an avid skier, and his apparent fitness and devotion to physical activity helped increase his popularity in eight years as president.
"The level of developing of sports undoubtedly defines the level of development of the country itself," Putin said at the presentation.
"Without sports, it's impossible to speak of a healthy way of life, about the health of the nation as such," he said.