- Title: RUSSIA: ELDERY RUSSIAN SKATERS KEEP FIT
- Date: 6th January 2003
- Summary: SLV/SV OF REHEARSAL (2 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 21st January 2003 12:00
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVACRV4VG3ANHZX9RSMENM86EXTV
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Want to feel young again? Why not put on a pair of skates and join a troupe of elderly Russian ice skaters who say their dance routines on ice keep them feeling young.
It's winter, the temperature is well below zero, in fact it's minus 20 Celsius outside, but that hasn't dampened the spirits of a group of elderly Russian skaters.
Appropriately named "Inspiration", members of this skating troupe of Russian old age pensioners say for them the secret of feeling young is ice skating.
"It [the ice skating] gives us a great incentive for life, for everything beautiful in life. We don't notice anything bad, negative; everything seems nice to us," says 78-year-old Margarita Styogantseva (STA-YOGANT-SEVA), one of the founding members of the troupe.
She and some of her friends started "Inspiration" about 10 years ago, mainly for fun and socialising.
About four years ago they were offered a chance to perform as a troupe.
They enjoyed it so much, that now they appear at skating events in and around Moscow, all through the winter season.
But it's not the money that drives them - they don't get paid for appearances.
For them it's the simple pleasure of skating, and the feeling they say, that all the aches and pains of old age seemingly leave them, when they put on their skates and take to the ice.
"We often feel aches and pains when we go somewhere, it hurts to walk. But as soon as we get there [to the ice-skating rink], for some reason our headaches disappear, our backs stop hurting and the pain in our arm is gone. We forget about all of these [aches and pains]," says Margarita.
"It's important not to lay on the sofa, but to take skates and to go to an ice skating ring. It doesn't matter whether the ice is artificial or not. Skating is the best thing for one's health," says 70-year-old Vladimir Gubarev.
There are 60 old age pensioners who are members of "Inspiration", the oldest is aged 82 and a WW2 veteran.
The troupe make their own outfits for the performances and say they plan to apply to the Moscow mayor's office for funding for the next winter season.
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