- Title: RUSSIA: Russian ice-skaters inaugurate a temporary rink in Moscow's Red Square
- Date: 1st December 2012
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SKATER, VYACHESLAV, SAYING: "The rink, firstly, is in the very centre of our country; the heart of the capital. Fantastic music, outstanding, fairytale view, it's just great."
- Embargoed: 16th December 2012 12:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAB0ZE5S8SD753LV0BXBWK4R05J
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Muscovites took to the ice on Red Square on Saturday (December 1) night, christening a skating rink in the shadow of the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral's colourful onion domes.
The rink is only a temporary addition to the famed square where the Soviet Union's founder Vladimir Lenin is entombed.
Since 2005, the Bosco company, which outfits the Russian Olympic team, has built the rink in front of the GUM department store at the beginning of December to host skaters until Spring.
While Muscovites revelling in the winter weather have a wide selection of skating rinks from which to choose, skaters on Saturday told Reuters Red Square was beyond comparison.
"There are a lot of skating rinks in Moscow, but in such beautiful place, there's only one type of this ritzy rink. And probably for the kids it's beautiful to see Red Square.
We've been here many times, but the rink is special in winter. And what's more, it's December the first," said skater Yulia.
Skater Vyachislav said Red Square held an emotional place in the heart of the older generation and being able to skate in the centre of it all was overwhelming.
"The rink, firstly, is in the very centre of our country; the heart of the capital. Fantastic music, outstanding, fairytale view, it's just great," he said.
Young skater Marieka and Toto, who brought a tiny girl bundled in a padded pink snow suit to skate, agreed.
"I really love to ice-skate, and Red Square is my very favourite place where I can spend free time," Marieka said.
"Red Square is the very centre of the city, the heart of the country. It's of course important. It's cool that we can do this here," Toto said.
The rink can accommodate up to 400 skaters at once and a total of 3000 per day, according to Bosco's website.
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