Putin Forcing Russians Back Into Stalin Inspired Fitness Program

Katie Pavlich

3/25/2014 1:30:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

File this under: red flag. Not only is Russian President Vladimer Putin invading other countries, he's also forcing his citizens back into a Stalin inspired fitness program using money left over from the Olympics. More from TIME:

On Monday, he announced that a Stalinist fitness program from the 1930s, called “Ready for Labor and Defense,” will be revived and funded by leftover cash from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
It hasn’t been revealed what the modern version of the program will consist of, but back in the U.S.S.R it required comrade citizens to enter competitions in sports like running, jumping, skiing, swimming, and, well, grenade throwing. Tests were set and those who passed were given gold and silver badges that were worn with pride on proletarian chests.
The program, known by the Russian initials GTO, was originally launched to raise the fitness of the population, so that citizens were ready to work and fight for the Soviet Union. Citizens of all ages took part until GTO died out during the Soviet collapse.


Russia took home the most medals during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.