The only way you could have missed that Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, has an affinity for running, is if you somehow don’t have access to the World Wide Web. It seems every few months, the PM gets “caught” jogging either with world leaders, his own staff or shirtless (we have yet to see all three at once). Every single time, we have the debate again: is this a staged publicity stunt or did he really just happen to run past a group of kids taking prom photos at the perfect moment?
Justin Trudeau photobombed these high school students’ prom picture during his jog in Vancouver. pic.twitter.com/jkzi72lpNo
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 22, 2017
Finally, we have some answers. CTV did a deep dive into the PM’s favourite pastime to see if they could draw any conclusions about whether he’s just looking for some easy press or actually an avid runner. The verdict seems to be that both are true; Trudeau loves to run and he uses the characteristics that portrays — strength, agility, youthfulness, liveliness, athleticism — to his political advantage. Basically, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
“I can hardly blame them for making use of images that are so strong and so appealing,” Patrick Gossage, Pierre Trudeau’s former press secretary told CTV. “Those pictures don’t just play on traditional media, they’re all over social media. They get tens of thousands of ‘likes’ and he’s broadcasting an image that’s contemporary and appealing.”
Even if you hate his politics, you’ve got to admit just a twinge of pride at having a leader who the world fawns over every time he jogs around shirtless.
#Breaking – Our shirtless Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau caught by our CTV camera going for a jog in a sweltering #Toronto near Cherry Beach around 6pm tonight watch for it on @CP24 & @CTVToronto ! #onpoli pic.twitter.com/qZVQMVheeF
— Stephanie Smyth (@stephaniesmyth) July 5, 2018
As for the assumption that these events are staged, the Prime Minister’s Office assures that it only looks that way because Trudeau’s official photographer, Adam Scotti, is a runner too and will often join the PM for jogs with his camera in tow. The Vancouver prom photos specifically were one such instance. Scotti saw the opportunity for a fun photo-op with the PM and took it. Can you blame him?
“The kids spotted me and I turned back and said ‘hi.’ So it’s one of those things that just happens,” Trudeau said of the occasion at the time.
A Trudeau spokesperson also told CTV that running with world leaders is like Trudeau’s version of golfing with business associates. He’s been on runs with Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, Mexico’s former President Enrique Pena Nieto and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) July 4, 2017
— G_Penalosa (@Penalosa_G) June 28, 2016
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took a hike together — literally. The two leaders met up for an early Saturday morning stroll through L.A.’s Griffith Park. pic.twitter.com/CSiiL905so
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 11, 2018
It’s not just world leaders either. The PM also makes time for leaders within Canada. Like last month when he went on a run with National Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland while visiting a military base in Latvia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland run with troops at Adazi Military Base in Kadaga, Latvia, on Tuesday.
— Ted jones (@ohboy51) July 10, 2018
So it looks like Trudeau’s love for running is genuine after all. Maybe he gets it from his dad.