Figure skating champion Zagitova gets dog for gold
MOSCOW (AP) — Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova has been given a Japanese akita dog in a ceremony involving Japan’s prime minister.
Zagitova said at this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that she had fallen in love with the akita breed — which she calls a “devoted friend” — while training before the Games.
Her parents said they would consider having a dog if she won in Japan.
Japanese dog enthusiasts then rallied round to send the 16-year-old the puppy, named Masaru, or “victory”.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie attended Saturday’s ceremony in Moscow during a visit for talks with President Vladimir Putin.
Zagitova won gold in February, beating her friend and fellow Russian Evgenia Medvedeva.