Alina Kabaeva - what she wants, she gets
Well, it's the Winter Olympics again, this time in Sochi in Russia. This gives journalists the chance to winge on about corruption, hugely over budget infrastructure, overbooked hotel rooms, terrorist threats, dodgy water and, this year's favourite, discrimination against homosexuals. If Clare Balding, the openly lesbian BBC presenter can go to the games why does our heterosexual (we assume - he did go to Eton) Prime Minister have to boycott?
Carrying a torch for the President? Alina Kabaeva (left)at tonight's opening ceremony
On the latter point, good on International Olympic President Thomas Bach in making a very strong anti-discrimination point in his speech. He won't be getting a Christmas card from Mr Putin this year, however.
Talking of Dobby, what is the point of being President of the biggest country in the world if you can't get your (er, alleged) girlfriend a prominent part in the ceremony?
What qualities attracted the elf-like President to the former Olympic champion?
So that's exactly what happened this evening, when his alleged girlfriend, former rhythmic gymnastics Olympic champion Alina Kabaeva, joined five other rather more stellar former Olympic athletes (in Russia a paltry two golds doesn't get you into the top flight and Kabaeva isn't even the most successful rhythmic gymnast from the country) to pass the torch in the (largely British designed) stadium.
Putin didn't quite have the nerve to give his (very) flexible (alleged) friend the top honour of lighting the torch but I'm sure he will be amply rewarded for his gesture in involving her in a key part of the (really rather excellent) opening ceremony.
Of course, official Kremlin sources say that Putin's break up with his 55 year old wife Lyudmila last year had nothing to do with his friendship with 30 year old Alina and we all know that the Kremlin has a long history of absolute veracity.
"Goodness me what a toned young woman you are. Not that I'd know..."
To be fair, Miss Kabaeva also denies any relationship but then, to paraphrase another girl with an eye for the main chance, "she would wouldn't she".
To be honest if she is his ex-mistress (as opposed to ex-girlfriend) then he goes up in our estimation as Miss Kabaeva is a very lovely young woman. Oh, and did we mention the flexible bit?
Since her competition days as a teenager Miss Kabaeva seems to have put some weight on; particularly in two key areas. Or perhaps she received a couple of presents?
Anyway, it was the opening ceremony tonight so we could feature a non-winter sports athlete for our first Olympic post. Over the next few weeks we will be digging out a few current Olympic lovelies for display.