Figure skater Zagitova to receive Akita dog
NHK -- Mar 02
Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova says she's happy to know that she will receive the gift of an Akita dog from Japan.

People in the Japanese prefecture of Akita have offered one of the dogs to the 15-year-old gold medalist in women's singles at the PyeongChang Games to commemorate her victory.

Zagitova was asked about the move during a post-Olympic public relations event in Moscow on Thursday.

She replied that if an Akita dog comes to her side, that would be good news.

After the event, she revealed that she had been informed that she will receive a female Akita from Japan.

She said she will think about a name for the dog and she will be sure to find time to take the dog for walks.

Zagitova was all smiles and said thanks in Japanese for the gift.

Zagitova told Japanese media during the Olympics how she fell in love with the Akita breed when she saw photos in a magazine while training in Niigata, Japan shortly before the Games. Zagitova said at the time that she had asked her parents to get one for her if she did well at PyeongChang.

There is a group dedicated to preserving the breed in the city of Odate in Akita Prefecture. A representative of the group, Yasutami Togashi, said he wants to send one to Zagitova to make her dream come true. He said that a redheaded puppy may suit the athlete. He also said he hopes to see her come to Odate, along with her Akita.

News source: NHK
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