Zagitova Shows Her Akita Dog

Zagitova shows her Akita dog

Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova and her Akita dog have grabbed the spot light at an event showcasing Japanese culture in Moscow.

The PyeongChang Olympics champion appeared at a Sakura Festival with her dog on Sunday.

The event, held at a shopping mall in the Russian capital was part of exchange programs supported by the two governments. Five Japanese prefectures, including Hokkaido and Okinawa introduced local products and sightseeing spots.

The event also featured Zagitova and her female dog named Masaru, which means victory in Japanese.

A Japanese group working to preserve the Akita breed presented the skater with three-month old Masaru last year. The pup celebrated her first birthday last month, and now weighs over 22 kilograms.

Zagitova told the audience that she had asked her parents for an Akita dog before the PyeongChang Games. Her mother promised, saying only if she did well at the Olympics. She said the words boosted her motivation.

Zagitova said she found Masaru gentle, amiable and smart. She frequently posts pictures and videos of Masaru on social media.