Evgenia Armanovna Medvedeva is a 17 year old figure skater from Russia with a serious love for Sailor Moon. She has won multiple World and European Championships for her skill on the ice, plus the hearts of weebs worldwide thanks to her open adoration of anime.
She brings her fandom onto the ice, performing routines in full cosplay. Her performance actually references the transformation that Sailor Moon undergoes into her battle attire. She begins in the well-known schoolgirl outfit, but doesn’t even break stride to bust out into the battle version of Sailor Moon’s outfit.
It’s refreshing to see such a highly skilled athlete waving her own nerd flag. These fan driven performances have increased her popularity worldwide, even landing her places in Japanese newspapers. She achieved our DREAM when given the opportunity to meet the creator of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi, in person. She has stated in interviews that she is learning Japanese and can even sing the Sailor Moon theme song in the original Japanese. …And yes, her Instagram is full of images referencing her anime fandom of Sailor Moon and Yuri on Ice.
Evgenia’s recent performance in Tokyo was an international contest (representing Russia), but she used it to show her appreciation for Japanese culture. In short, she’s using her competitive platform to recognize the achievements of other countries.
I suppose it’s also a testament of how impactful Sailor Moon has been on the world. The international reputation of Russia isn’t the strongest message of equality or open-mindedness, but it is nice to know that even under oppressive life conditions there are still things that can connect people from all walks of life. Anime is some powerful sh*t.
Next time you’re afraid of showcasing your fandom, think of Evgenia. If nothing else, this story is a good way to remember to not be afraid of flying your own nerd flag. If she can do it, so can we.