Thirty can win you one free subway ticket.

Here's the thing about free giveaways. They're often not really free. They're asking for something worse: your dignity.

The latest is Russia's Olympic-fever gimmick — a machine that offers free Moscow subway tickets to anyone who completes 30 squats in a two-minute window.

To help drum up excitement for the Sochi games, which open in just three months, the Russian Olympic Committee has installed a unique vending machine at the Vystavochnaya station. A special sensor counts squats and dispenses a free ticket to those who successfully complete the challenge. The month-long promotion is designed to encourage fitness and get "everyone involved in a sporting lifestyle," Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov told state-run media outlet RIA-Novosti.

A single-ride ticket normally costs 30 rubles, or about 92 cents, so the offer translates to a ruble a squat. The Olympic committee trotted out star gymnast Yelena Zamolodchikova for the first performance. But the BBC's Steve Rosenberg helpfully caught himself trying it out (and succeeding!) on film to give you a better sense of how awkward your average passenger looks squatting.

Check it out below:

Video via BBC News Russia.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    A Horrifying Glimpse Into Your Dystopian Future Transit Commute

    A comic artist’s take on what the future of transportation might really feel like.

  2. An old apartment building and empty lot and new modern construction
    Equity

    Will Presidential Candidates’ Plans to Address Redlining Work?

    Housing plans by Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg intend redress for racist redlining housing practices, but who will actually benefit?

  3. A cyclist rides on the bike lane in the Mid Market neighborhood during Bike to Work Day in San Francisco,
    Perspective

    Why Asking for Bike Lanes Isn't Smart

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  4. Two men look over city plans at a desk in an office.
    Equity

    The Doomed 1970s Plan to Desegregate New York’s Suburbs

    Ed Logue was a powerful agent of urban renewal in New Haven, Boston, and New York City. But his plan to build low-income housing in suburbia came to nought.

  5. Life

    Why Do Instagram Playgrounds Keep Calling Themselves Museums?

    The bustling industry of immersive, Instagram-friendly experiences has put a new spin on the word museum.

×