A skater's best friend? Zagitova trains alongside pet dog 'Masaru' before World Champs (VIDEO)
The reigning Olympic champion, who is preparing for the upcoming World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, brought her pet to Khrustalny skating center, Moscow, where she has been training under the watchful eyes of the renowned coach Eteri Tutberidze.
In a video posted by Tutberidze, the Akita dog, a Japanese breed, was moving slowly across the skating rink before starting to wiggle on the ice in an attempt to take a treat from the skater.
“The culmination of the working process. Everyone is preoccupied with their own business,” Tutberidze captioned the video which was posted on her Instagram page.
Masaru, presented to Zagitova by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following her Olympic win, was fully immersed in the training session and even executed a figure skating lift with the help of Daniil Gleikhengauz, a choreographer on Tutberidze’s team.
The dog obediently performed commands given by Zagitova who gladly rewarded her pet with dry kibbles which Masaru immediately devoured.
In one of her previous interviews, the 16-year-old champion emphasized that the pet improves her mood and helps her to focus on something else apart from training.
Along with commonly known dog commands “sit” and “come", Zagitova also taught Masaru to execute an axel and salchow, figure skating jumps which the athlete includes in her programs.Also on rt.com ‘I’m more recognized in Japan than in Russia,’ says Olympic champ Alina Zagitova