Meanwhile, roughly half of London Mayor Boris Johnson's appeal seems to come from his ability to impersonate a well-dressed albino caveman while wielding a tennis racket or bocce ball. And the whole country can't seem to get enough of the video showing Johnson stumble and accidentally gore a German competitor during a charity soccer match.


You still have shitty libel laws, Britannia, but let no one ever accuse you of not having a laugh at your leaders' expense.


The sovereign city-state makes the list because its prince (Albert, tee-hee) is a five-time Olympic bobsledder. Therefore, its people, all of whom I assume are both sexy and currently seated at a baccarat table, don't have to overestimate his abilities.


Kinda, Sorta Free, Provided You Know the Right People


Two people were ejected from this match. One was the guy kneed in the balls by Bolivian president Evo Morales. Morales was not the other one.



In fairness to the goalie who allowed Putin's game-winning top-shelfer, he was probably a little distracted by the idea that making the save would have almost certainly meant a lifetime of labor in Siberian ice-prison.



The People's Republic has lowered its expectations for its leaders' athletic performance since the era when 73-year-old Chairman Mao reportedly swam 15 kilometers down the Yangtze River in 65 minutes, two and a half times faster than the 2008 Olympic 10K gold-medal pace. Current President Hu Jintao does appear to know how to play table tennis. (He even holds the paddle in that correct way that you tried for a few points back in middle school before realizing you couldn't stop from hitting the ball with the handle.) Still, look at the rigorousness of that clapping! You just know that if even one of those students doesn't smack his palms together hard enough to blunt-force kill a bunny, he's headed for one of the second-tier finishing schools. (Which, in China, is roughly equivalent to death.)


Freedom's Just Another Word for "Re-Education Camp"

Uganda in the 1970s

Any dictator pretending to have game is pretty much just cribbing from the Idi Amin playbook. Take it away, Patrick Hruby:

According to a 2010 interview with Amin's former sports minister published in an East African newspaper, the Ugandan dictator decided, on a whim, to open the 1974 African amateur boxing championships with an impromptu bout between himself and national coach Peter Seruwai. Amin wore a necktie. Mr. Seruwagi wore a track suit. Under a headline modestly reading "Boxer of the Year," the official Ugandan state newspaper trumpeted Mr. Amin's technical knockout victory, noting that "the referee had to stop the fight in the second round to save Seruwagi from further punishment." True enough — as Mr. Seruwagi later said, "If I knocked out Amin, I would not have ended the night alive. As I was entering the ring, his security men were standing at all corners. So I had to use my wisdom not to humiliate him."

General Amin is also one of the few "Dictathletes" (Hruby's coinage, not mine) to compete underwater. In this scene from a 1974 documentary, Amin "beats" five other more well-conditioned men in a sprint from one side of the pool to the other. Notice the way the guy second from right doesn't even bother to dive. Or the way the two on the left allow Amin to run them over. They're humoring him the way you or I might humor a young relative in a game of HORSE, if that young relative also had the wherewithal to have us disappeared and was comforted by the knowledge that everyone would be too scared to go looking for us.



Evo Morales may get preferential treatment from the refs, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the guy who shows up to the pick-up game wearing pants. How impossibly disfigured could this man's calves be?


North Korea

To the unfortunate starving millions living in The Hermit Nation, dearly departed Dear Leader Kim Jong Il wasn't merely the greatest man to ever live, he was also the greatest sportsmen. Before his death last December, the North Korean state press had reported on all manner of Kim's accomplishments, including when he shot the best score in the history of golf (a 38-under round—his first—that included 11 holes in one), bowled a perfect 300 (again, during his first and only time on the lanes), and gave strategic advice to the coach of the men's national soccer team using an invisible cell phone of his own creation. Little wonder, then, that his death inspired such grief.


Caleb Hannan is a writer living in Denver who would have let Idi Amin beat him too.