Squat 30 times, ride for free: Russia promotes Olympic spirit with train-station athletics

Jay Busbee

With three months to go until the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is doing its best to stoke the Olympic spirit among the populace with all kinds of outreach, including a unique "squat-and-ride" promotion.

The city of Moscow is offering free rides on its subway for any passenger who does 30 squats prior to boarding. The idea, of course, is both to get the Olympic spirit bubbling and to get the population exercising. Each ride costs 30 rubles, or about 92 cents. The promotion will last for a month.

“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, said in Russia's RIA-Novosti, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Reaching out to the populace with a little bit of give-back is a wise move on the part of the government. The Olympics already have an expected price tag of $50 billion, making them the most expensive in history. There are the usual concerns about the disproportionate share of revenues heading to a select few and costs being borne by many, but at least some of the flexible common folk will be able to save a few rubles.

The Olympics begin February 7, 2014.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!