Yevgenia Medvedeva
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Yevgenia Medvedeva competes on Japanese TV in anime series dress

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World champion figure skater Yevgenia Medvedeva recently toured Japan, which makes plenty of sense.

Not only does the Russian excel in what has become a national sport in Japan, but she also is a lover of Japanese anime TV series.

On a trip through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Medvedeva was invited to compete on a Japanese TV show. She danced in an outfit inspired by the 1990s anime series “Sailor Moon,” and said she played air hockey and had to balance on one leg, according to Russian media.

Medvedeva dressed as the “Sailor Moon” title character for exhibition skates in Japan the last two years. She was born in 1999, two years after the end of the “Sailor Moon” series.

Search “Medvedeva” on YouTube, and those two “Sailor Moon” performances rank Nos. 1 and 2 by view count with more than 2.5 million and 1.5 million, respectively.

Her love for the show is so great that it appears she can recite the lyrics to the opening theme, “Moonlight Densetsu,” upon request. The series aired in the U.S. on Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” afternoon block in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Medvedeva and other top skaters also follow the anime series, “Yuri!!! on Ice,” which has a figure skating theme.

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Grand Prix figure skating assignments announced; Olympic champions absent

Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner
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Nathan ChenAshley WagnerKaren Chen and Maia and Alex Shibutani headline Skate America in November, highlighting this fall’s Grand Prix assignments announced Friday.

Gracie Gold is at Cup of China and Internationaux de France, also in November.

U.S. champion Nathan Chen and Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu will both debut at Rostelecom Cup, the first of six Grand Prix events, in late October.

That will mark an early season test for Chen, an 18-year-old who beat Hanyu at the Four Continents Championships at the PyeongChang Olympic venue last February but fell to sixth at worlds won by Hanyu in April.

Chen’s top challengers at Skate America in Lake Placid, N.Y., are world bronze medalist Jin Boyang of China and training partner and 2016 U.S. champion Adam Rippon.

Grand Prix Assignments: Men | Women | PairsIce Dance

Wagner, a three-time U.S. champion coming off her least successful season in six years, and the surprise U.S. champion Karen Chen are both entered in Skate Canada in October and Skate America.

Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva, the two-time reigning world champion, is entered in Rostelecom Cup and NHK Trophy in Japan. She’ll face Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy in both events, as well as Mariah Bell and Mirai Nagasu, who finished three-four at the U.S. Championships in January.

The two-time U.S. champion Gold, who changed coaches after a disastrous season, will get an up-close look at Russian world junior champion Alina Zagitova at her two events in China and France.

Polina Edmunds, the youngest U.S. competitor across all sports at the Sochi Olympics at age 15, is entered in France as well. Edmunds hasn’t competed since the January 2016 U.S. Championships due to a bone bruise in her right foot.

Sochi Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova is not entered in any Grand Prix events.

She has not competed since placing sixth at the December 2015 Russian Championships but recently hired four-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko as a new coach.

Also absent from the Grand Prix lists are Olympic pairs champions Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov after Volosozhar gave birth to their daughter Feb. 16.

The Russian pair hasn’t competed since finishing sixth at the 2016 World Championships, their first time outside the top two in 19 top-level international competitions together.

Sotnikova and Volosozhar and Trankov could still be added to Rostelecom Cup as there are open spots for Russians in each discipline at that event.

Skate America, the biggest annual international event in the U.S., is one month later in this season’s calendar, taking place Thanksgiving weekend.

Here’s the full Grand Prix schedule:

Rostelecom Cup (Moscow) — Oct. 20-22
Skate Canada (Regina) — Oct. 27-29
Cup of China (Beijing) — Nov. 3-5
NHK Trophy (Osaka) — Nov. 10-12
Internationaux de France (Grenoble) — Nov. 17-19
Skate America (Lake Placid) — Nov. 24-26
Grand Prix Final (Nagoya, Japan) — Dec. 7-10

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Meryl Davis, Charlie White join dance tour

Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olympic ice dancing champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White have a new gig on solid footing.

They will co-star with Cheryl Burke of “Dancing With the Stars” in a 30-city live dance tour called “Love on the Floor.”

The four-act show portrays the story of a relationship from beginning to end, with each star performing a different aspect of the journey: romance, passion, hurt and power. Davis and White will be spotlighted in individual dances as well as performing together.

They starred in the show during a tour of Japan last year. It will tour Japan again starting next month.

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