Figure skating champion Zagitova gets dog for gold
Russian Women's Olympic Figure Skating Gold medalist Alina Zagitova holds An Akita Inu puppy named Masaru presented by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:45AM EDT
MOSCOW -- 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 skater 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.