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Japanese icon Yuzuru Hanyu retires from competition

Japanese figure skating icon Yuzuru Hanyu announced that he is retiring from competition on Tuesday but will continue his bid to land the elusive quadruple axle as a professional exhibition skater.

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu holds a press conference in Tokyo on July 19, 2022. (kyodo)

After missing out on a third consecutive Olympic gold at the Beijing Games in February, the 27-year-old two-time world champion has remained unclear whether he will ever compete on the ice again.

“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 my weaknesses and my past.”

“In terms of results, I have achieved what I could have achieved. I stopped evaluating.”

In pictures: Memories of Yuzuru Hanyu, the undisputed king of the ice

He missed out on becoming the first athlete to land a quad axle in competition during his free skate in Beijing, falling in his attempt of a four-and-a-half rotation jump.

Composite photo taken on February 10, 2022 shows Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu attempting a quadruple pivot during the men’s figure skating free skate at the Beijing Winter Olympics at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing. (kyodo) == kyodo

Four-time Grand Prix finalist and six-time national champion Hanyu withdrew from the World Championships in March after he could not recover from an ankle sprain in Beijing.

“I pursued quad axles until Beijing, but I think I can do it, not necessarily in competitions… I really think it gives more people a chance to see it (personally) “

“I have made the decision (to stop the competition) after Beijing… I have thought about many things and realized that I no longer need to be on the same platform, while doing more to be better and stronger. I feel determined.”

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

A native of Sendai in the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, Hanyu inspired the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region with his victory at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan smiles at the awards 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 Olympic figure skating gold. (kyodo) == kyodo

he made one Historic defense of his Olympic gold at the 2018 PyeongChang GamesThe American has become the first person since Dick Button to achieve the feat in the sport in 66 years.

Injuries have been frequent in Hanyu’s illustrious career.

Hanyu returned from injury at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang after sustaining a right ankle ligament damage while practicing for the NHK Trophy in November 2017. Three months before Beijing 2022, another ligament injury in the same ankle forced him out of the NHK Trophy. Again.

Defending world and Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu collapsed while training for the NHK Trophy in Osaka on November 9, 2017, leaving the spill bad enough for him to require treatment. Looking for his third straight NHK title over the weekend, Hanyu hurt his right ankle when he fell while attempting a quadruple Lutz. (kyodo)

He finished fourth at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

After an unsuccessful three-peat bid in Beijing, Hanyu said he had “nothing more to offer” and needed time to think about his future.

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

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

Hanyu returned to the ice for a four-stop “Fantasy on Ice” show that took place in Japan in May and June.

Hanyu, who began skating at the age of 4, survived the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region and became a local hero when he won his first Olympic gold as a teenager in Sochi in 2014.

Japanese figure skating superstar Yuzuru Hanyu is pictured at the age of five at a skating rink in November, 2000. (Photo courtesy of Hanyu’s family)(Kyodo)

He is the youngest recipient of the Japanese Government’s People’s Honor Award, After receiving the award from the then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the age of 23.

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

Photo taken in Sendai on July 19, 2022, shows a copy of an additional edition of a local newspaper reporting that Yuzuru Hanyu, 27, a two-time Winter Olympic gold medalist, is a native of the northeastern Japan city , has decided to retire from competitive figures. Skating. (kyodo) == kyodo

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Figure skating: Hanyu fast in first performance since Beijing Olympics

In Photos: Yuzuru Hanyu Fantasy on Ice

Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu’s home rink temporarily closed due to earthquake

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