Russian Olympics Promotional Video Goes Viral


MOSCOW – A two-minute video of ordinary people in Russia performing 30 squatting exercises in return for a free ride on the Moscow metro has gone viral.

A week after Russia's Olympic Committee installed a machine in a Moscow subway station that offers a free ticket to anyone who does 30 squats, the video is trending on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

The first recipient of a free ticket was Russian Olympic gymnast Elena Zamolodchikova, who described the exercise as "simple but not easy."

The video, available on the Russian Olympic Committee website, shows how the machine was installed and demonstrates how to perform the exercise to get your free ticket.

Locals have been queuing up to perform the exercise ever since, although the tickets are not available until 9 a.m. -- after the morning rush hour -- and are not issued after 8 p.m.

The ticket machines are part of a host of promotional activities designed to increase physical activity and healthy lifestyles in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics in February.

Tickets are issued only when someone executes 30 correct, full squats, and the machines have sensors to tell whether people are doing the exercises correctly.

But those interested in getting a free ride had better hurry: There is only one special ticket machine at the Vystavochnaya station, and it will be decommissioned on Dec. 30.

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