Legendary Japanese Figure Skater Yuzuru Hanyu Retires from Competition: 'Deepest Gratitude'

The 27-year-old walks away with two Olympic gold medals, two world champion titles, four Grand Prix Finals wins, and more than a dozen broken world records

Photo: Chen Jianli/Xinhua via Getty

Japanese figure skater and two-time Olympic gold-medalist Yuzuru Hanyu is retiring from competition.

The 27-year-old spoke at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday to share the news and express his "deepest gratitude" to fans for supporting him during his career, CNN reported.

Though he is retiring from competition, Hanyu does intend to continue his career as a professional figure skater and will appear in ice shows.

"I will be extremely sad if people don't want to watch me anymore, but even then, I will try my best from now on so that people feel like there's a reason to still watch my skating," the skater said while discussing his future, according to Bloomberg.

At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Hanyu — competing with an injured ankle — failed to land his quadruple axel cleanly.

Ma Ning/Xinhua via Getty

The move, a feat accomplished by no skater in history, is a long-held goal of Hanyu, and it is one he still wants to achieve.

"I want to work even harder on the quadruple axel, and be able to successfully land it in front of all of you," said the skater, per Bloomberg.

Hanyu stepping back from competition comes after a long and successful career. On top of two gold medals, he is a two-time world champion, and a winner of four Grand Prix Finals, according to the International Olympics Committee.

His first gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics made him the youngest men's champion since 1948 and the first Asian man to win gold in figure skating.

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Hanyu's gold medal win at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang made him the first male figure skater since 1952 to win back-to-back Olympic golds, per the International Olympics Committee.

He received high praise for his performances from then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who later gave him the People's Honor Award. Hanyu, aptly nicknamed "Ice Prince," was the youngest person to receive the honor.

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