What Competing Meant to Yuzuru Hanyu 

By: Liz Dejesus 

Some may argue that Yuzuru Hanyu is the best male’s singles skater to ever touch the ice.  He has a big fanbase called the “Fanyus”, creative if you ask me. However not one bad comment could be found about him as a person on the internet. He was an olympic figure skater however he has chosen to retire from competition.

Hanyu was an olympic figure skater for Japan and won two gold medals over his career, one in 2014 and one in 2018. He would’ve won a third in Beijing however his injured ankle stopped him from landing a quadruple axel, which was his goal for the Beijing 2022 winter olympics. A quadruple axel is the most challenging move in figure skating and to this day only one person has successfully landed it, which happened recently. Hanyu didn’t win a gold medal however he still made history. (Metrowest Daily News).  

He became the first Japanese man to win an olympic gold medal. Not only that, but Hanyu has established world records. One was that he had a remarkable score of 101.45 points in the short program, and he was the first person to surpass 100 points in a short program. However he didn’t stop there, he broke his own record scoring 112.72 points. The other record he broke was being the first male skater to break the 200 point barrier in men’s free skating and the 300 point barrier for his combined total score. (Olympics.com) His drive and determination mixed with his striking talent makes him all the more inspiring and loved by his fans. Not only that, but it is also well known that he loved winnie the pooh, and his fans would throw him stuffed winnie the pooh bears after his performances which he would donate to children in the hospital. In fact he even won the People’s Honor Award, which is the highest honor awarded to a civilian and he was the youngest recipient to receive this award, according to the Japan Times. 

Hanyu suffered an ankle injury that led him to not be able to compete in some competitions. He actually injured his ankle a couple times. Whilst letting his injured ankle heal he thought through some things and he stated that he felt as if he no longer had to compete, he wanted to stop being evaluated. This didn’t change how his fans see him, not one bit. Hanyu loved doing competitions, he won just about everything there is to win on ice. “It is a place where I was able to prove that I dreamed, that I put in the effort. It gave me proof that I lived.” he said. Hanyu retired from competing however he will still be skating professionally, in fact he had a professional ice show in November and again in December. He titled his show ‘Prologue’. This was the first time where he was responsible for everything. “I am going to pour my heart and soul into this ice show which I hope will serve as a prologue to many different stories to come”. Hanyu states. “I wanted to produce an ice show that reflected my skating career, my personal history”. (Olympics.com)  
Jerick Dejesus, a wrestler, could relate to Hanyu because he ended up not going to college where he thought he would compete. He commented on how he felt about this shift in his life saying “I continued to play a little after that but I didn’t get the same rush as I did when I would compete. I continued to play the sport but it was more exhilarating when I would do competitions.” He also commented on how it felt to stop playing, we can get a sense of how Hanyu felt as well “When I realized I wasn’t going to play anymore, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sad to say the least, but I try to play when I can, with whoever I can, and that brings me joy again.” Hopefully both Jerick and Hanyu find joy in their new adventures in life.

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