A Japanese legend and all-time great is officially hanging it up, reported Jessie Yeung for CNN. Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu announces his retirement from the competition Tuesday evening. His career has been nothing short of iconic for the country of Japan. He’s broken more than a dozen world records and has won two Olympic gold medals.
“I’ll no longer be able to be compared with other competitors,” he said during a press conference in Tokyo. “But I’ll keep fighting my weaknesses and my past self.”
“In terms of results, I’ve achieved everything I could achieve. I stopped wanting to be evaluated.”
The 27-year-old dressed in a suit and tie during his new conference in Tokyo emphasized that while he’s stepping back from the competition, he’d continue his career as a professional athlete. He went on to add that he still strives to do the impossible. Although nobody has ever completed the quadruple axel, he believes he can still accomplish this. He attempted in 2022 at the Beijing Olympics, however, he proved to be unsuccessful.
Japanese all-time great figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu has announced his retirement from competitionhttps://t.co/fLYTzFpzQC
— CNN International (@cnni) July 19, 2022
Who’s Hanyu and what has he accomplished for Japan?
Hanyu is a two-time world champion and winner of the four Grand Prix Finals. He has a country supporting him and this includes a massive following in China. He’s what Tom Brady is to America China and Japan. In fact, he’s earned the famous nickname “Ice Prince.”
In other words, he’s a big deal. While many may have not heard of him, he’s someone to be respected. Many of his followers often toss Winnie the Pooh on the ice after he’s done performing. Apparently, the TV character represents a form of good luck in Hanyu’s eyes. Although he’s done skating he still wishes his fans and people from around the world to continue to support him and his endeavors going forward.
“Please continue to watch me fight,” he said, bowing several times to the cameras and reporters.
He won his first gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the age of 19. He became the youngest men’s champion since 1948, per CNN. He’s the first Asian man to win figure skating gold.