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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vecherniaya Moskva (Evening Moscow). Extreme Sokolniki


At the entrance I was stopped by a stern security guard: No entrance with a cigarette!’ he said.

Yeah, the anti-smoking initiatives suddenly are in place...

The guard looked like a U.S. sheriff. I quickly threw the cigarette away and passed through the park’s gates.

The park is overcrowded. We have a lot of fans of extreme sports! I’m heading to the Fountain Square. A number of young guys are making incredible stunts with a ball accompanied by vivacious electronic music. Oh, that is the football freestyle, I realize.

“Nikita Nikolaev,’ one of the sportsmen introduces himself. ‘I have practiced freestyle for more than two years. Why did I choose this kind of sport? Well, for the girls to like me... But seriously – I chose it for myself, of course. I love the emotions! It's great that Sokolniki provided an extreme ground for everybody! I take a closer look at the visitors of the park.”

The absence of drunken individuals surprises in an amicable way. A lot of young people, riding across the park on roller blades and bicycles.

A bit too many bicycles, I thought right after when I almost ended up under the wheels of one of them.

But then I changed my mind: it was my fault, I shouldn’t have been musing over things and walking, I came to look at the extreme, and I got it! Passing by break-dancers sitting relaxed on the benches (their master class was already over), I came out to the rock climbing wall. There I saw special tracks stretched between trees, which reminded me the city of Wookiees from the Star Wars movie. I didn’t meet Han Solo, but I saw a lot of people of different ages, moving from tree to tree.

Muscovite Sergey Fedorov came here with his grandson Semen. Fedorov Jr. and was noticeably tired.

“A good program, however, I did not let Semen go on the rock climbing wall. He is a kid,” Sergey said.

I’m following him to the Festival Square, where the main event of the day is going on: a show program from freestyle riders of world level. The stunts they’re performing are not possible to watch calmly. When you see a person accelerating a motorbike and taking off at breakneck speed on a trampoline and doing somersaults in the air... you definitely get goosebumps!


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