So did you hear the one about Vladimir Putin and the Olympic gymnast?

Yeah, we didn’t either – until now.

I’m not sure how we missed it the first time around, but hey! What better time to revive some slightly stale gossip about a Russian President and an abnormally flexible young athlete than now, with the Olympic Games having just wrapped up in Bejing?

Alleged ladies’ man Vladimir Putin

So here’s the deal: for some time now, rumors have been flying that former Russian President Putin has been plotting to dump his wife for former Russian Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva.

Kabaeva at work

Kabaeva won gold in the all-around competition for rhythmic gymnastics in Athens in 2004, and also took a bronze in the same event in 2000. More recently, she became an MP in the Russian Parliament.

and at play.

Notes the Daily Mail dryly:

The gymnast is one of a number of young and beautiful Russian dancers and athletes who, under Mr Putin’s patronage, have lately become deputies in the Duma – Russia’s lower parliament.

During her gymnastics career, Kabaeva was best known for her extreme flexibility – see for yourself in this clip, and then insert the dirty joke of your choice.