As part of the zealous promotion for Russia’s upcoming Sochi Olympics spectacular, the Moscow metro is offering an alternative to its ticket machines and their queues. It is combining a keep-fit theme and making an attractive offer to commuters; get some gain from the pain and ride the train for free.
The scheme is getting plenty of support from Russian sports stars and Olympic athletes as the country cranks up the welcome ahead of all the expected international visitors.
“When the Russian Olympic Committee developed this project, we wanted to show that each person is a part of the Olympic movement, of the Olympic Games, of the Olympic ideals,” said synchronised swimming champion Maria Kiseleva.
Or they may just be broke and stumbling home after a night out, in which case exercise will be useful in a Russian winter.
“If you try hard and set a goal you can come and do enough squats to earn a monthly or yearly pass, so why not?” said one enterprising commuter, Oleg.
Still, anti-obesity campaigners might take note of the initiative and make some proposals of their own to reward us for taking more exercise, in which case the Olympic spirit will have worked its magic.