Russian Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova picked up a title of a different kind after she won an online vote on the Games’ favorite style icon.
Zagitova – who was crowned ladies’ champ at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang – is building a budding reputation as a style icon to accompany her prowess on the ice.
That fact has been recognized by the official Olympic Channel Twitter account, as the 18-year-old star won a vote to find social media’s favorite Games style icon – beating American skating hero Johnny Weir into second place by picking up 62 percent of the vote.
The poll, which was shared with the account’s 406,000 followers, mobilized Zagitova’s army of fans as they gave their backing to the Russian sensation.
Zagitova had reached the showdown with Weir by seeing off Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the semi-finals, picking up a similarly resounding 68 percent of the vote.
Zagitova’s competitive skating career is currently on hold after she announced a break at the end of last year, but she has an active Instagram account with over 700,000 followers on which she often posts selfies and photos of her life in skating.
Testament to Zagitova’s growing style status was her recent appearance on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine in Russia, while she’s also made her mark on the beauty industry, becoming the face of Japanese makeup and skincare company Shiseido.
Zagitova has a sponsorship deal with sportswear giant Puma, promoting its products on her social media accounts, and in 2019 was named athlete of the year by Glamour magazine in Russia.
The Izhevsk-born world and European champion was also included in the Forbes Russia list as one of the nation’s highest-paid athletes, with an annual income of almost US$1 million.
On turning 18 earlier this month, she was congratulated personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin.