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Putin Takes Part In Hockey Game Against Russian Students

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be nearing his 63rd birthday, but he can still beat a team of kids in ice hockey -- with the help of some of Russia's most formidable hockey veterans, that is.

Putin marked the opening of the school year on September 1 by taking part in a game against student players from the Sirius academy for gifted children at the Shaiba arena in Sochi, one of the hockey venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Other players on his side included Pavel Bure, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexander Ovechkin, and Yevgeny Malkin.

The veteran team, calling themselves the Hockey Legends, won 9-5. Russian news reports didn't specify whether Putin notched any goals or assists.

In a pep talk, Putin told the students that any victory in life is accompanied by "lots of doubts, mistakes, and failure," but they should not get discouraged.

"It is only natural. But it is vital not to step back, not to lose heart and never give up," he said. "A key factor of success is the faith in oneself."

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS