Japanese icon Yuzuru Hanyu retires from competition

Japanese figure skating icon Yuzuru Hanyu announced that he will retire from competition on Tuesday but will continue his attempt to get the elusive four-axis axle as a professional skater at the show.

After losing his third consecutive Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in February, the 27-year-old world champion in 2014 and 2017 has left it unclear whether he will compete again on ice.

Two-time figure skating gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu smiles during a press conference in Tokyo on July 19, 2022. The 27-year-old has announced his retirement from competition. (kyudo) == kyudo

“I will no longer be able to compare with other competitors,” he said during a press conference in Tokyo. “But I will continue to fight against my weaknesses and my former self.”

“In terms of results, I’ve achieved everything I can. I stopped wanting to evaluate.”

In Pictures: Memories of Yuzuru Hanyu, the Undisputed King of Ice

He narrowly missed out on becoming the first athlete to land a quadruple jump in competition during free skating in Beijing, falling in his attempt at the half-alternation quad jump.

A composite photo taken on February 10, 2022, shows Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan trying to use a quad axle during the men’s free skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing. (kyudo) == kyudo

Hanyu, also winner of four consecutive Grand Prix finals from 2013 and a six-time national champion, withdrew from the world championships in March because he had not recovered from the ankle sprain he sustained in Beijing.

“I’ve continued up to Beijing in pursuit of the quad axle, but I feel I can’t necessarily do that in competitions,” Hanyu said. “I actually feel like it’s giving more people a chance to see it (in person).”

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“I made the decision (to stop competing) after Beijing… I thought about many things and felt like I didn’t need to be on the same stage anymore, while also feeling more determined to get better and stronger.”

Hanyu, a native of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region, started the sport at the age of four and inspired the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region with a victory at the 2014 Sochi Games.

He was the first male figure skater not from Europe or the United States to win the Olympic competition.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan smiles at the award ceremony after winning the gold medal in the men’s figure skating event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on February 15, 2014. Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win a gold medal in figure skating. (kyudo) == kyudo

He made Historic defense of his Olympic gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Gamesbecoming the first to achieve this feat in the sport in 66 years, since American Dick Button.

become hanyou Youngest recipient of the People’s Honor Award from the Japanese government At the age of 23 that year.

Hanyu revealed that he could have left the competition after the Olympic victory in February 2018, when he triumphed after returning from a right ankle ligament injury just three months ago.

Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu performs his free skating at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, on February 17, 2018 (Kyodo) == Kyodo

But he continued to fight as he had yet to win the Four Continents Championship, which he won in 2020 to claim all the major titles in the sport.

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“I’m full of determination and hope,” Hanyu said in his new class, though he admitted he finds it “extremely difficult” to draw a mental line between a rider and skater at the show.

“There are plans in the works but I’m reluctant to give you details…I think there are more ways to showcase snowboarding that are appropriate for this time and era,” he said. “I hope to make fans who never came to watch want to come.”

“I will cherish the sporting value of snowboarding as a professional athlete while pursuing my ideals. I have no sense of loneliness.”

Yuzuru Hanyu, the world and Olympic champion, falls while training in Osaka on November 9, 2017, for the NHK Cup, as the leak was bad enough to need treatment. In pursuit of his third consecutive NHK title at the weekend, Hanyu appeared to have injured his right ankle when he fell while attempting a quadruped lutz. (Kyodo)

Finished fourth at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

After a failed attempt at three curds in Beijing, Hanyu said he had “no more to offer” and needed time to think about his future.

“It doesn’t matter what field he’s in,” he said of his next step after the Olympic festival. “It could be an ice show or a competition.”

Hanyu is back on the ice for the four-station “Fantasy on Ice” show held in May and June in Japan.

Japanese figure skater Yozuru Hanyu performs at the Fantasy on Ice show at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, near Tokyo, on May 27, 2022. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

Two-time figure skating gold medalist Yozuru Hanyu (left) laughs with former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he receives the People’s Honor Award at a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, July 2, 2018. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

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