Originally posted on Tumblr by Lae (@axelsandwich)
YUZURU HANYU IN 8 SECONDS: A SUMMARY
- he’s happy a lot
- but also falls down a lot. very cutely.
- sometimes in a stupidly beautiful way
- factual info you could probably Wikipedia but are too lazy to do so: Yuzuru Hanyu is a Japanese figure skater from Sendai, born 7 December 1994 who competes in the men’s singles discipline.
- PSA: YUZURU HANYU IS NOT THE MODEL FOR YUURI KATSUKI FROM YURI ON ICE (yuuri katsuki is canonically based on tatsuki machida thank u)
- japanese media (especially in sendai) basically filmed him growing up and called him a young prodigy so we’re lucky to have footage of chipmunk-cheeked yuzu with his (flying) mushroom hair from all the way back then
- look at this tiny bean
- he was interviewed in ice rink sendai with japan’s other figure skating gold medallist shizuka arakawa. to quote, when asked “can you become a gold medallist too?”, he said “probably”. and then he went and did exactly that.
- he would get into fights with his rinkmates, used to ball up skate rink magazine flyers to hit like a baseball and basically had a 5min attention span after which he would get bored
- get you a man that loves you like the entire city of Sendai loves yuzuru
- yuzuru held 2 victory parades after his two Olympic gold medals in which he stood on a bus and waved at a crowd of 80k in 2014 and 100k people in 2018, honestly it was the most amazing thing, and then also the streets were CLEAN AS HELL after, we stan respectful fans!
- the 2018 parade generated $1.86 BILLION YEN economic impact or $16M USD (!!!) and he donated $22M yen profit to support the local skating federation
- their cheer video for sochi and pyeongchang for him
- there is an unspoken rule when he goes home to sendai that people will treat him like an ordinary person and not a celebrity and though paparazzi etc. still happens, it is mostly respected and we should 10000% keep it that way.
- memelord mc memeface (no, I am serious)
single-handedly keeping the winnie the pooh soft toy industry alive.
- you’ve probably seen this exhaustively covered in the media, especially Western media during the Olympics because that’s all they ever seem curious about, which is partly why I wrote this intro post because there is so much more to yuzuru
- but Pooh rain is really amazing to witness live, an experience like no other
- this is because he’s had a pooh tissue box cover since he was young, given by his parents and he calls Pooh-san his friend and comforting to him because his expression is always calm and never changes. You will see Pooh-san on the boards at every competition, loyally watching over Yuzu
- why do people throw Pooh bears at him? there’s a tradition to throw flowers and toys as a gesture of appreciation after a skater’s performance in figure skating and…well, lots of people appreciate yuzuru ; )
- (but also consider throwing things like pokeballs, tokyo ghoul plushies, GOAT plushies and earphone plushies at him people, let’s get some creativity in this house!)
- Disney-senpai finally noticed him in 2018
- he donates all the toys he gets to local orphanages and charities
- here’s an account from a doctor who witnessed the donations coming in!
You thought your favourite TV show was dramatic? Welcome to Yuzuru Hanyu’s entire life
- yuzuru was a victim of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami and lived in an emergency shelter with his family for about four days after. he spent the summer afterwards skating 60 different ice shows to raise money for the victims. he lost his home rink because of the earthquake and so would go to the show rinks early to use the ice to practice ):
- it’s heartbreaking that he’s still very affected by the memories. he’s said he doesn’t take anything for granted and is always grateful to have a rink to skate on, and the impact he had on the survivors had a profound effect on his skating
- he donated all his olympic winnings to helping tohoku recover
- and has continued to donate profits from various campaigns to helping tohoku recover and support his original ice rink
- the only regular TV appearance he does every year is 24hr TV which is a charity marathon to raise money for various causes, especially for areas in Japan affected by natural disasters
- “If it is because I visited them that those who suffered from the disaster can forget about their hardships for even just a moment, to me that would be something very meaningful. Therefore, at that moment, I thought that I wanted to get another Gold medal at the next Olympics.”
- this is one of the reasons he’s going for a second olympic medal. cry with us
he also remained top 5 in his class academically while competing internationally during high school and does online education at Waseda University, which is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan (this kid was away the day God handed out laziness and procrastination I s2g)
- he’s studying Human Informatics and Cognitive Sciences (ie. basically a massive maths nerd) and incidentally did his entrance exam while competing at the Grand Prix Final 2012
- my favourite in-depth and extended interviews with yuzu are his press conferences with the foreign correspondents club in japan, he really lets his intelligence and thoughtfulness shine here in particular:
- gets on with nobunari oda like a house on fire and carries out shenanigans whenever they meet
- nobu and ex-tennis player matsuoka shuzo have been his most zealous and purest hype men since he was sixteen, it’s the cutest thing in the world, they’re regularly worried about him, stunned by him and moved to tears by his performances
- here they are reacting to his olympics programs
- here’s yuzu thanking shuzo for his support by putting his gold medal around shuzo-san’s neck
- yuzu’s interviews with them are some of the best things ever and I recommend you watch ALL of them
- has the cutest bromance ever with training mate javier fernandez (eg. when he cried bc he didn’t win but was also super happy for javi, and when he watched javi’s free skate)
- has the cutest interactions with all skaters including his direct competitors
- here’s boyang jin giggling about how he got a hug from ‘the guy who likes Pooh’
- nathan chen commenting on yuzu & both of them complimenting each other
- dodges media attempts to pit him against shoma uno as bitter rivals bc they are NOT ABOUT THAT LIFE
- olympic gold medallist checking to make sure the olympic silver medallist has his jacket on straight and teaching shoma to wave bc he is actually just a mother
- the only person who has the ability to make him lose focus: his forever-idol evgeni plushenko (now in motion)
- probably the only asian boy who willingly opted for a bowl cut
- who he shamelessly cheers on during ice shows
- literally not capable of not being extra as fuck
- here’s his pre-competition rituals aka. lipsyncing silently at a wall
- he does it a lot
- where every other male skater is in sensible shirts and pants, you will find yuzu standing there BEDECKED IN SEQUINS AND FEATHERS
- he don’t give a fuck about your gender norms
- and looks excellent while doing so
- here he is, single-handedly destroying toxic masculinity
- here he is just generally being Extra, with the rest of the men, bullying junhwan, bullying boyang… speed skating
- being lifted at galas, just because he can
- tbh his milkshake seems to bring all the boys to the yard…seriously. and obviously most of the girls…
- famous for his death glare murder face of hyper-competitive intensity
- scariest thing is how quickly he can switch it on
- watch the switch in action
- there’s literally a collection of photos of yuzu – from when he was a bb to presently – eyeing the gold medal from another podium position like ‘my precious will be mine soon’ (here’s another one)
- but also for being the sweetest kid ever
- he is truly SUPER polite wherever he goes
- mr worldwide (he thanked reporters at the Olympics in five languages)
- watch him say thank you in korean
- JP TV basically had entire TV segments where they were like ‘OBSERVE HIS GOD-LIKE BEHAVIOUR’. It continues to this day
- he has three shrines in Japan that his fans make pilgrimmages to, because of their unintentional connections with him – yuzuruha shrine in kobe because it shares 2 characters with his name (almost 3), the seimei jinja in kyoto and abe no seimei shrine in osaka
- oda nobunari visited one and basically all the ema wishes were for him (yuzuru himself also visited the shrine to pray as well)
- gives his fans regular heart attacks
- watch him save jumps that shouldn’t have been physically possible
- changing program halfway through when he failed a jump to accommodate #emergencyquad and #yolotripleaxel
- casually breaks world records because he was annoyed with himself
- casual jump combinations during practices
- casually says shit like wanting to jump hithero impossible jumps when frustrated
- jumped new quad when pissed off at the world team trophy
- It is REALLY IMPORTANT to know that the main reason for fan heart attacks is because he’s dealt with a distressing number of injuries, illnesses and misfortunes in his skating life but has somehow managed to come back and succeed in spite of them
- a really scary accident happened at cup of china in 2014 where yuzuru collided with fellow competitor Han Yan in the 6min warmup before his Free Skate and he decided to skate anyway because he wanted to qualify for the Grand Prix Final and felt responsibility to do so as the newly minted Olympic champion and while the debate rages on even now about whether he should have done so, he did indeed go out and do…that > <;;;
- he then came back a month later to win the Grand Prix Final for the 2nd year in a row
- he then had abdominal pain and surgery right after winning Japanese Nationals in 2014
- and after spending a month recuperating, still managed to win a silver medal at worlds 2014
- and after spending a month recuperating, still managed to win a silver medal at worlds 2014
- this is why we don’t talk about boston worlds 2016 – he skated while hiding a lisfranc injury that he thought – at the time – could end his career and that entire summer afterwards, no one knew whether he would ever return to competition…but he did
- important to note he skated his iconic chopin/seimei 2015 grand prix final programs WITH THAT INJURY
- he came back at the start of the 2016-2017 season, became the first in the world to land the quadruple loop in competition and went on to win the world championships in Helsinki in 2017 after being 5th after a mistake in the Short Program, breaking the Free Skate world record along the way. yeah. being his fan is always a roller coaster
- he missed almost the entire 2017-2018 olympic season he severely injured his ankle while practising the 4Lz in practice at the NHK Trophy, while recovering from a fever
- is making his comeback from injury either at the pyeongchang team event or potentially yolo-ing it and going just for the individual event, we have no idea, we just know heart attacks are imminent
- 2018 update: he skipped the team event and made his COMEBACK SKATE FROM INJURY after 3 months of no competitions and 1 month of prep at the individual mens event of the pyeongchang olympics…. AND FRIKKIN WON HIS SECOND OLYMPIC GOLD (more down the page)
- 2019 update: he then…injured himself again for the 2018-19 season, went out and skated anyway, won the event and showed up to the victory ceremony on crutches. he made a comeback at the world championships 2019 on painkillers yet again and still managed to get a silver medal. after months off the ice.
- is proficient at disappearing like a ninja and subjecting his fans to radio silence for months on end, usually bc he injured himself ))):
did I mention he happens to be pretty good at figure skating?
- he’s broken the world record 16 times and counting (the video is his reaction to the first 11 (most of them are his own records)
- he’s the first man in 66yrs since Dick Button to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in mens figure skating (sochi 2014 and pyeongchang 2018)
- holds all 3 historical figure skating world records for Short Program, Free Program and Total Score under the +/-3GOE system (the rule system was changed in 2018 and records reset). He was the first to break 100, 200, 300 points barrier in the new +/-5GOE system as well
- remained at number one in the world standings for the entire olympic cycle since 2013 despite aforementioned heart-attack-inducing injuries and illnesses
- do you want to aww? here’s a short compilation of other figure skater and other sportsmen his programs have inspired
I cannot emphasise HOW FRIKKIN #YOLO HIS 2018 OLYMPIC SEASON WAS. LIKE STOP. WALK WITH ME HERE.
so yuzuru has been wanting this medal literally for ENTIRE LIFE, which he has planned since he was a novice skater and had seriously begun planning since right after he won the gold in Sochi. this plan had to be adjusted along the way due to the truly distressing number of injuries, illnesses and misfortunes he sustained during the last quad from 2014 – 2017 (his Olympic athlete profile has PARAGRAPHS dedicated to all his injuries – and note these are only the post-2014 ones).
but yuzuru started the 2017-18 olympic season with a plan to basically break all 3 of his WRs at the olympics by recycling his iconic Chopin and Seimei programs but upgrading the layout and introducing a new quad – the 4Lz – which he had been preparing for years. he trained so hard during summer that his coach Brian Orser remarked he would have been ready to go to the Olympics right then and there. he landed his 4Lz for the first time in competition at Rostelecom Cup and seemed poised to fight for momentum during the 2017-18 Grand Prix season.
and then this plan was, once again, thrown out the window when he sustained an ankle injury in practice right before the NHK Trophy in early November, which was much more severe than he first thought. he sat out of competition for 3mths, literally disappearing from all news and the public eye, despite hoping to return first at Japanese Nationals and then to the Pyeongchang team event, but pulled out of both as well.
yuzuru made his comeback from injury debut at the individual men’s event, aka. the BIG DEAL, after marching into the airport like a BOSS. we were told he had only recovered his triple axel 3 weeks ago and his quads 2 weeks ago, but post-Olympics, he slowly revealed that it was even more dire than that. he skated the entire Olympics on painkillers that were not working 100% which meant every jump landing hurt, accepting the risk he may permanently damage his ankle or worsen his injury because they didn’t actually know the extent of his injury at that point.
But WAIT, you say, what is it about his skating that you love so much?
- some of his iconic moves ; _ ;
- edges. have you seen anything more ridiculous
- iconic program alert: romeo and juliet 1.0 at worlds, less than 1yr after the tsunami disaster, after he spent all summer training sporadically at ice shows. after flying under the radar for his senior debut, this really launched him onto the international stage
- iconic program alert: sochi olympic short program (the thing that won him the gold lbr)
- VERY iconic program alert: chopin and seimei at Grand Prix Finals 2015/16
- His skates for the two programs at NHK Trophy only a fortnight prior smashed the World Record.
- Under enormous pressure and expectation going into the Grand Prix Final, he skated last, skated perfectly and achieved the WR for highest short program and total program score, beating the silver medallist Javier Fernandez by almost 40 points
- he’s brought them both back and try to surpass them for the Olympic season because he wasn’t already under enough pressure……
- seimei is arguably one of the greatest masterpieces of skating programs and yuzuru was involved in every step of putting it together
- more iconic program alert: hope and legacy FS at Worlds 2016/17 where he came back from 5th place in the Short Program to win the free and break his own world record yet again (annotated version so you can appreciate just how difficult and insane the layout was)
- broke his 12th WR in the first event of the 2017-2018 Olympic season at the ACI Challenger event with a sore knee and downgraded jump layout
- hilariously, his coach brian orser was – uncharacteristically – warning everyone that his first skates of the season are like ‘first pancakes’ and to not expect too much from him before the SP
- his fans, needless to say, were amused
- he did go ahead and die in the free skate the following day though, and finished with his obligatory Canadian silver
- Jumped and landed his first 4Lz in competition at the Rostelecom Cup 2017 (watch it clean – it’s a THING OF BEAUTY) and now has landed 4 types of quads in competition (4T, 4S, 4Lo and 4Lz). Has now said that being the first person ever to land the 4A – his childhood dream – is one of his key motivations.
- note from 2019: he uh….tried it. on the last day of being 24 (please remember MOST SKATERS HIS AGE HAVE RETIRED BY NOW AND THE QUAD AXEL HAS NEVER EVEN BEEN ATTEMPTED COMPETITIVELY EVER)
- just go watch all his programs lol
- has a majestic jump face. it’s art. literally.
But also what else?
- Yuzuru is known for a seemingly endless appetite for improvement, evolution and continually challenging himself
- his favourite word: kuyashii (ie. frustrated)
- one of my favourite interviews of him ever was right after his broke all 3 world records and went over 200 and 300 for the FS and total competition score for the first time at NHK 2015.
“[On losing to Patrick Chan at Skate Canada & the fact he was practising during gala rehearsal where everyone else was chilling] I thought I want to improve, even here right now. Patrick was nearby and it was a really good motivation. It’s like, ‘Watch me.’ I will definitely practise all kinds of jumps and I will grow for sure. I will win the next time for sure, I have been practising with that in mind.”
Then 3 weeks later, at NHK Trophy, he had a different layout.
Yuzu: This is not related to Patrick anymore. I was really fired up this time. Boyang Jin got 95 points in SP, right? When I saw that score, I thought, wow NO MISTAKES!! He gave the best of his abilities! OH YES!!!!
Shuzo: You didn’t think OH NO!!! You thought OH YES????
Yuzu: I thought “It’s here!!!“ Since I was a child, I have never liked winning a competition when others made mistakes. Everyone skates to their best, but I still come first, above all. That is what I like. I like pushing myself to the edge—.”
(translation cr: yuzusorbet)
it says volumes about his competitive mentality.
- this is also iconic AF. ‘In your mind, what do you mean by wanting to win with a commanding lead?’
yuzuru (no hesitation and immediately): after everyone goes clean, I go clean and win.
(matsuoka shuzo’s face is a MOOD)
- he actually has a published quote book of cool things he’s said in interviews since he was a newly minted senior. here’s a partial translation series I started doing in Olympic season
- there’s a chance some of these are inspired by anime protagonists
- there’s a chance some of these are inspired by anime protagonists
- oh, also he’s had asthma since he was two
- lowkey kinda sucks at finding suits that fit him. because he needs one imperfection
- questionable fashion sense in general (generally remains stuck at ‘japanese teenage boy circa 2005′)
- he wears toe socks and has been seen wearing crocs once, ho n e st l y
- Good Guy Yuzuru: doesn’t wear fitted suits often because he knows it’ll kill his fans and/or will only do so if he gets paid for it tbh
- unless he’s wearing under armour
- he can keep wearing under armour
- seriously, why isn’t he being sponsored by under armour
- he’s really obsessed with earphones and has like 50 pairs, many of which are custom-made and cost over $1000. he gets really excited about sound quality & bonds with sound technicians over their headphones. basically it’s the only thing he talks about when interviewers want to know what he likes to do in his spare time
- that and play games in his room by himself
- he’s hyper-competitive about games too
- is this a surprise at this point
- he watches anime and has asked kaneki ken’s voice actor from tokyo ghoul to eat him on national television. y-yeah.
- he got turned into an anime character in collaboration with Tour de Tohoku #goals
- made his japanese film debut in a bald cap, playing the young lord of Sendai which he SORT OF BASICALLY IS
- other than this, he keeps his private life pretty damn private (hence: cryptid), we have not seen his father or sister make any official appearances in media and his mother never speaks to the media but accompanies him to all his competitions. they’re very low key and private
- as of originally writing this intro post in 2017 – he was part of the top six men in figure skating right now. probably possesses the Most Lack of Chill, being world champion, olympic champion and holder of all 3 figure skating records. we’re all drinking heavily this olympic season, not in the least because Olympic season has been a Pretty Big Disaster So Far
- BUT HE WON THE GOLD MEDAL AND THE MENS EVENT WAS – FOR THE MOST PART – PRETTY DAMN BRILLIANT, especially given all the disasters that happened this season……. ; __ ;
- 2018 update: alas Patrick Chan and Javier Fernandez have now retired ;;
- he’s also b e a u t i f u l
- want to research more?
- here’s a recommended watchpost
- here’s a feature article on his skating journey called ‘Spin the Dream‘ translated (ad hoc, sorry) by me
- the new york times did a long feature on him and it’s a pretty comprehensive article if you want an overview and intro to Yuzuru, but English/American media as a whole don’t tend to cover him in depth or tend to do it poorly, or are straight up offensive about it (if I hear one more poorly researched journalist question making it all about his Winnie the Poohs, I will scream), so I recommend Japanese interviews where you can really get a feel for his way of thinking
- a compilation of interesting interviews by tsukihoshi14
gif cr: balladestorm
in conclusion, thank you for reading and I hope you know more about this special, brilliant boy ( :