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Yuzuru Hanyu: One Of The Greatest Figure Skaters Of All Time


Figure Skating is a hard sport that requires intense training. Most of the skaters start their career at the age of 5 and professional figure skaters train so hard that it’s almost like a full-time job. It is a sport that combines technical moves and balance with style. Nowadays there are many great skaters such as Ilia Malinin, Alexandra Trusova, or Kamila Valiyeva. But none of them compares to the greatest of all time, Yuzuru Hanyu.


Yuzuru was born on December 7, 1994 in Japan as the second child to his parents, Hidetoshi and Yumi Hanyu. His mother was working at a department store and his father was a teacher, he was also the advisor of the baseball school club and he wanted Yuzuru to also start baseball. But Yuzuru decided to choose another path. His name was given to him by his father and it meant, "live a dignified life like a tightly drawn bowstring", and that's exactly what Yuzuru did. Who could have guessed back then that he was going to become one of the greatest figure skaters of all time?


He skated in competitions as a Novice and Junior from 2004 to 2010, during this time he won a lot of competitions. In the 2008-2009 season, he moved up to juniors and he won a gold medal at the Japan Junior Championships, becoming the youngest male skater to win gold, at the age of 13.



He is a two-time Olympic and two-time world champion. He also won the Grand Prix four times. He is the first skater that scored over 100 points in the short program (which is incredible and also extremely hard since the short programs are 4,5 minutes long and in men’s figure skating the average points range between 60-80 points) and the first skater to score over 200 points in the free skate.


Yuzuru is the first male skater to land a quad loop, he is also the first skater that attempt to do a quad axle, which is the hardest jump in figure skating and was considered impossible, and he is the first skater to land it on two feet. He also has two signature moves, which are Delayed Axel and Hydroblade.

If you want to see how they look you can check,

this link for the Hydroblade: https://youtube.com/shorts/3deqKiCRSKEsi=lyD9p1eZII8ovAy5

and this one for the Delayed Axel:

https://youtube.com/shorts/uneWZCs3V98?si=ziKOQiQaq5hyLuon

If you would like to watch the program where he attempted the Quad Axel:

https://youtu.be/D35ANhKWsc4?si=4wCRCqW_XVyk9kLZ


This quad-axel attempt was very important because if he couldn’t land it it was gonna push him away from the gold and Yuzuru knew that he probably wasn’t going to be able to land it, but he still went for it. What makes it even more important is that Bejing 2022 was Yuzuru’s last Olympics, so it was his last chance to win his 3rd Olympic championship. But he still added the most risky jump in his program. And unfortunately, he couldn't land it, but he still made history by just attempting it. Absolutely extraordinary.



But what makes him the greatest of all time? What separates him from the other skaters? His perfect jumps? No. His great spins? Also a no. The answer would be the way he combines it all with his bewitching style. Because when Yuzuru starts skating, you don’t just watch a figure skating program. He does all the moves so aesthetically that you feel like you’re watching an art. He performs in a way that you can feel the emotions he puts into his programs. You feel like he is in love with the ice. He turns skating into a piece of art.


Even for people who don’t know about the rules or the moves in figure skating, I can assure you that watching his programs will never be boring. It’s not the jumps or rules that matter in his skates, it is the perfect combination of talent and art.

Because as I said in the beginning, figure skating is not just jumps and spins. And without a style, there is nothing special; the jumps, the spins, they are the same for everyone. You can perform a sit spin, a camel spin, or a twizzle; you can land the most perfect Axel or an incredible Lutz, but there can always be another skater that will do it as good as you do or even better. But the style belongs to the skater, it is unique. And that is the reason why Yuzuru Hanyu will always be one of the greatest figure skaters of all time.


Unfortunately, Yuzuru retired from competitive figure skating at the age of 27 and he is now producing his own ice shows.

If you would like to watch some of his programs, I linked a few of them down below, enjoy these incredible programs.


Bejing 2022 Winter Olympics, Gala Performance (my personal favorite):

https://youtu.be/-DzYPCO51BQ?si=dunAcJlSpL6FoXeY

Skate Canada 2019, First Place, Free Skate:

https://youtu.be/w963Kl0cpb4?si=PT5ilKOsaNZdgUSa

2014 Winter Olympics, Gold Medal, Free Skate:

https://youtu.be/hUskvEAITdE?si=o2yEbY56cCB20Nkf

Pyeongchang 2018, Gold Medal, Free Skate:

https://youtu.be/23EfsN7vEOA?si=GjYRoYXSBklV7Fc6

ISU Figure Skating World Championship, Short Program:

https://youtu.be/_vmkp2oRskg?si=M48sBlFHK7Rby3al

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