Moscow officials are offering residents a free ride on the subway in exchange for 30 squats with a new gimmick that publicizes the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi and promotes physical fitness.
A normal one-way trip on the Moscow metro costs 30 rubles (92 cents) but any passenger who wants to ride for free simply has to perform 30 squats — one per ruble — in under two minutes.
"We wanted to show that the Olympic Games is not just an international competition that people watch on TV, but that it is also about getting everyone involved in a sporting lifestyle," Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told the state-run news wire RIA-Novosti, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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A squat-operated ticket machine stamped with the Olympics logo has been set up at the Vystavochaya metro station in western Moscow. The device tallies a passenger's squats and then spits out a free, single-ride ticket when the exercise is completed.
"It was hard at first but I managed it," Lyudmila, a young woman who tried out the machine, told Agence France-Presse
. "Two minutes is enough time."
This isn't the only exchange-style fitness promotion the Russian Olympic Committee has created in an effort to "add elements of sports into daily life." Other physical challenges include using stationary bikes to charge cell phones and turning the handles hanging on buses into exercise bands.
The free rides will be available until the end of November. The Sochi Olympics begin Feb. 7.
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