Turkmenistan: Strongman Pumps Iron on Health Day

November 4, 2013 – 11:42am, by Murat Sadykov

Turkmenistan’s chief health fanatic led by example on this year’s state-wide Day of Health, state television footage shows, dispelling opposition reports the omnipotent president is suffering health problems.

State-run television showed Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov riding a horse, cycling, playing volleyball and pumping iron on the November 2 holiday, Russia’s Mir TV reported.

As an “avid follower and propagandist of a healthy lifestyle, showing a personal example to [his] fellow citizens, above all, the youth,” the strongman has made physical fitness an object of state policy, state-run TDH news agency said.

The videos come in sharp contrast to reports distributed last month by the exiled opposition that the president, who fell off a horse during an April competition, was suffering from hypertension and required constant medical supervision.

This is not the first time Berdymukhamedov has taken a personal interest in his subjects’ physical doings: In spring he ordered everyone to do calisthenics. In late summer Turkmens were told to follow his lead on a day of cycling, despite temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.


Published by Eurasianet
2012 © EurasiaNet

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