Evgenia Medvedeva could be just your normal anime fan. The 18-year-old loves listening to J-pop and K-pop and she loves anime. She specifically loves Sailor Moon and Yuri on Ice! She cosplays on occasion and has been seen with a stuffed toy of Luna the guardian cat leading Sailor Moon around.
And oh yeah, she also just won a silver medal for figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Yup, an anime otaku standing on the medal platform.
Medvedeva started her life in Russia and is the daughter of a figure skater. She got started in the sport at the age of three and in the 15 years since she has racked up a lot of accomplishments such as being the European Skating champion twice, Junior World Champion, a two time World Champion, and her latest accomplishment is a silver medal around her neck. So to say she is good at what she does is a major understatement.
Now while her performances are good, no doubt about it, it’s her fondness for anime and melding it into her skating that has caught the attention of fans around the world whether they are anime fans or not. She first caught the attention of many otaku (anime fans) in 2016 when she performed a skating routine to a remixed version of the Sailor Moon theme song dressed as the character, complete with transformation sequence. Later she admitted that she performed the routine as part of a bet, but no matter the reason, she gained a lot of fans by giving the performance inspired by the anime series that had made a lot of anime fans since the early 90s.
Evgenia Medvedeva as “Sailor Moon” – Tokyo World Trophy 2017
Figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva became famous within the anime community due to constantly Tweeting about anime! Most people know her as a really great figure skater. In fact, the 17-year-old is considered the best young skater in the world. Earlier this week, she participated in the ISU World Trophy event, which was hosted by Japan.
Now, many will equate the idea of a silver medal at the Olympics as “first loser” but that is far from the case. The only skater to rank higher than her in the Olympic “short program” (the skating routine based on technical merit) was fellow Russian Alina Zagitova, who had to achieve a world record score to do it, and only after Medvedeva had set the same world record 10 minutes before.
Not only that but she very nearly wasn’t allowed to compete at the Olympics at all.
Leading up to the winter games, her home country of Russia faced some heavy accusations of state-sponsored doping for its Olympic athletes and was then barred from competing in the games entirely. However, after some pressure, Russian athletes were allowed to compete but under the Olympic flag and the banner of “Olympic Athletes From Russia” as long as they had no prior convictions of doping or taking any kind of banned substances. Thank goodness for that reprieve or we would have missed out on something really awesome.
So what’s next for the ice’s favorite otaku? Well, there is really nothing stopping her from going for gold 4 years down the line at the 2022 games. And with her fondness for anime and her ability to make a great ice skating routine from it, I would think some anime production company or media company will be able to make her part of their team as well. I would also say she probably has a pro skating career ahead of her, but I’m not sure she is completely done competing yet.
So thank you Ms. Medvedeva for not only representing your country in these games, but representing all of us geeks, anime fans, weeaboos, and the ones who wear our Otaku badges with pride. You did amazing.
Moon Prism Power indeed.