Russian President Putin Calls For Revival of Soviet-Era Physical Fitness Tests

by Colonel on March 13, 2013

“Russian President Vladimir Putin called Wednesday for the revival of a Soviet-era physical evaluation program that required all schoolchildren to pass fitness tests.

Putin, a judo enthusiast and a regular swimmer, said that the restoration of GTO, the Russian acronym for Ready for Labor and Defense, would teach children “to stand up for themselves, their family and, in the final run, the Fatherland.”

GTO, which was introduced in 1931 under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s rule, required all school and university students to regularly pass physical training tests. Those managing to qualify would receive silver- or gold-colored badges.

In its early years, the GTO program focused heavily on tests intended to make children ready for Red Army service. The program gradually lost its scope and prestige over the years and ceased to exist with the 1991 Soviet collapse.

” — Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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