Puppy offered to Olympic champion figure skater Zagitova goes on show

2018.05.07 | Akita

A Japanese Akita puppy offered to Russian Olympic champion figure skater Alina Zagitova is shown to the public at a dog show in Otade city in the breed's namesake prefecture on May 3, 2018. (Kyodo)

A Japanese Akita puppy offered to Russian Olympic champion figure skater Alina Zagitova was shown to the public Thursday at a dog show in the breed's namesake prefecture.

The female puppy was chosen by the 15-year-old Pyeongchang Winter Olympic gold medalist from a batch of candidate dogs offered by a group dedicated to preserving the Akita breed.

The dog's current owner Masami Hamada, 79, brought the 2-month-old puppy to the AkitaDog Exhibition.

"I'm happy that my dog was chosen. She is a friendly puppy so I hope she will be cherished by Miss Zagitova," Hamada said.

A ceremony will be held in late May in Moscow to present the dog to Zagitova, according to the group based in the city of Odate.

The group decided to offer an Akita dog to Zagitova as a gift after discovering she fell in love with the breed after seeing photos in a magazine while training in central Japan before the Pyeongchang Games.

Zagitova said she asked her mother to get an Akita dog for her if she did well at the Olympics. She has said she would name her dog "Masaru," meaning victory when written in the kanji character, even though it is traditionally a male name in Japan.


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