Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, has captained a mini-sub in the Gulf of Finland and used a motorized hang-glider to lead captive Siberian cranes to freedom. The stunts weren't unusual for a man accustomed to public displays of avocational skill. Here are a few of his many talents.

1. He's an arm-wrestler

Putin quickly defeated Rep. Dana Rohrbacher in a drunken match in Washington in the early 1990s, the California member of Congress said in September. ''His muscles are just unbelievable," Rohrbacher said. Pictured: Putin pumping his guns in an arm-wrestling contest during a visit at a summer camp in the central Tver region on Aug. 1, 2011. Read the article
Putin arm_wrestler
© Alexei Nikolsky / AFP/Getty Images

2. He captains a minisub

On July 15, Putin submerged the Sea Explorer 5 bathyscaphe off the island of Gogland, 110 miles west of St. Petersburg. Putin rode the craft 200 feet down to the floor of the Gulf of Finland to see the remains of the naval frigate Oleg, which sank in 1869, Russian news reports said.

putin minisub
© Alexei Nikolsky / AP
3. He hang-glides

Putin learned to fly a glider in preparation for the event in an Arctic peninsula, which the Interfax news agency reported Sept. 5, 2012. Cranes, raised in captivity, did not know how to fly south, and environmentalists have to devise an imitation lead crane to show them the way. Putin is shown in a motorized hang glider next to a Siberian white crane, on the Yamal Peninsula.

putin hang_glides
© Alexei Druzhinin / AP
4. He's a rifleman

Putin carried a hunting rifle in the mountainous southern Siberian region of Tuva on Aug. 15, 2007.
putin rifleman
© Dmitry Astakhov / AFP/Getty Images
5. He's a judo expert

Putin held a judo training session during a visit to St. Petersburg on Dec. 18, 2009. He has studied martial arts since his school days.

putin judo expert
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images
6. He's a sky pilot

Putin appeared in the cabin of a Russian firefighting aircraft Be-200 on Aug. 10, 2010. He was flying in a water-bombing plane that sought to stop wildfires from engulfing key nuclear sites.

Putin sky pilot
© Alexei Nikolsky / AFP/Getty Images
7. He scuba-dives

In his wetsuit, Putin embarked on a dive to an underwater archaeological site at Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula on Aug. 10, 2011.

Putin scuba dives
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Imag
8. He races cars

Putin received instructions before driving a F1 racer on a track outside St. Petersburg on Nov. 7, 2010.
Putin races car
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images
9. He catches bass

Then-President George W. Bush, right, applauded as Putin caught a striped bass on July 2, 2007, while fishing near the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Putin catches bass
© Mikhail Klementyev / AFP/Getty Images
10. He rides the range, in winter ...

Putin on a horse in the Karatash area on Feb. 25, 2010.

putin winter range ride
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images
11. ... and in the summer

Who needs a shirt? Putin appeared on a horse on vacation in Southern Siberia on Aug. 3, 2009.

Putin in summer
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images
12. He rolls with the bikers

With the "Night Wolves' motorcycle group, Putin thundered through the southern Russian town of Novorossiysk on Aug. 29, 2011.

Putin rolls with bikers
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images
13. He can ride a Harley, too

Putin, center, rode with his posse du jour on a Harley Davidson Lehman Trike near Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea on July 24, 2010.

Putin rides harley
© Sergei Karpukhin / AFP/Getty Images
14. He's a whale-hunter. (Gimme that crossbow!)

Whales before him, Putin aimed a crossbow on a rubber boat at the Olga Harbor of Kamchatka Peninsula. He was on a scientific expedition to study grey whales on Aug. 25, 2010.

Putin whale hunting
© Alexey Druzhinin / AP
15. He's a concert pianist (and R&B singer)

Yes, Putin did stumble through the Soviet-era anthem "Where The Motherhood Begins" at a charity concert in St. Petersburg in Dec. 10, 2010. But then the band played, he grabbed the microphone and belted out "Blueberry Hill.'' A spokesman said Putin learned the lyrics as part of his English language studies, the Daily Mail reported.

Putin concert pianist
© Alexei Nikolsky / AFP/Getty Images
16. He's a blacksmith

Putin struck iron as he visited "Talsy" Architecture and Ethnography Museum in Irkutsk Region in eastern Siberia on Aug. 1, 2009. But can he make horseshoes?

Putin Blacksmith
© Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images
17. He rides a snowmobile

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on a snowmobile as they chatted in southern Russia on Jan. 3, 2010. Not to worry, Putin also drives, with images showing him roaring through the woods.
Putin rides snowmobile
© Dmitry Astakhov / AFP/Getty Images