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Russian ‘Skywalkers’ Living on the Edge
This striking series of photos taken by Kirill Oreshkin and his daredevil friends taken on the tallest structures of Moscow document a new hobby, ‘rooftopping.’ The new trend has become quite popular in Russia and Ukraine in the past few years, and unique photographs resulted from scaling various buildings, cranes, bridges and construction sites.
To top it all, the young photographer completes all these stunts without a harness or any safety equipment, and appears perfectly calm in the photos. He is often pictured as hanging from structures by one hand only, and his friend, nicknamed Mustang Wanted, does chin-ups a few hundred metres above the ground in Kiev in a video posted on his website.
Oreshkin is not the only one to climb to death-defying heights to take a vertigo-inducing picture. One of his countrymen, Alexander Rushinov has been photographed doing headstands on the edges of various roofs. While skywalking seems to be a modern craze, spreading faster due to the media attention it receives, photos survive from the first half of the 20th century, including a New York steeplejack performing a handstand on the head of the Statue of Liberty during its restoration in 1938.
Another pair of Russian daredevils took advantage of the Chinese New Year celebrations this year, during which most of the construction workers and security guards left the unfinished 640-metre-tall Shanghai Tower. Just after midnight, Vadim Makhorov, 24, from Russia and Vitaliy Raskalov, 21, from Ukraine, snuck past the remaining guards, scaled the wall to the top of the tower, and even made it to the top of a construction crane.
Although Oreshkin and his gang seem quite matter-of-fact in the pictures taken of their stomach-churning hobby, they are keen to point out its dangers to others. Mustang Wanted writes on his website: “The following videos and photos feature stunts performed by professionals. I really insist that no one attempt to recreate or re-enact any stunt or activity performed on this site. Even if you´re totally sure that you can do that, you are putting yourself in danger. So, please, don´t try to recreate my stunts.”
daredevil – fenegyerek
quite – eléggé
to scale – megmászni
crane – daru
construction site – építkezés
to top it all – sőt, mi több
stunt – mutatvány, kunszt
harness – beülő (sziklamászó)
to do chin-ups – húzódzkodást csinálni
death-defying – halálmegvető
vertigo-inducing – tériszonyt, szédülést okozó
headstand – fejenállás
steeplejack – toronyállványozó, kéményépítő
to take advantage of – kihasználni valamit
to sneak past – elsurranni valami mellett
although – habár
matter-of-fact – tárgyilagos
stomach-churning – gyomorszorító
to be keen to – fontosnak tartja
to attempt to – megkísérelni valamit
to re-enact – eljátszani
Fill in the gaps with the right words from the table. There is one extra word.
b. construction sites
d. took advantage
e. keen to
1. They are …………………………… point out its dangers.
2. The new trend has become quite popular in Russia and Ukraine in the past few years, and unique photographs resulted from bridges and ………………………………. .
3. To top it all, the young photographer completes all these stunts without a …………………………… or any safety equipment.
4. Another pair of Russian daredevils ………………………… of the Chinese New Year celebrations this year.
5. ………………………….. Oreshkin and his gang seem quite matter-of-fact in the pictures taken of their stomach-churning hobby.
answers: 1-e, 2-b, 3-a, 4-d, 5-f