Kyrgyzstan’s Literal Strongmen

by Nathan Hamm on 6/7/2005 · 2 comments

Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has decided that from now on, all regional leaders in Kyrgyzstan must pass a physical fitness test.

“From now on all the regional leaders are going to pass GTO standards — running, jumping — before they take office. We will only appoint those who pass successfully,” Bakiev said at the Kyrgyzstan: Future without Drugs conference.

GTO (Gotov k trudu i oborone or Ready for labor and defense) was a Soviet mass physical fitness program, and the GTO standards included running, jumping, swimming, shooting, grenade throwing and other tests.

It’s all about reinvigorating sport and fitness in Kyrgyzstan in order to keep kids off drugs. And if there’s one thing I learned growing up, clean living definitely should include marksmanship skills.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

Sara June 7, 2005 at 12:26 pm

Well, I guess that gives an answer to the question of Bakiev being yet another Soviet-style leader. It would be interesting if there were pins made like it was in the USSR for people who were “ready”. I have many in my collection and am always looking for new additions.

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