On Friday (27 May), the first night of the ‘Fantasy on Ice’ tour, Hanyu Yuzuru made his first public appearance since the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Is Yuzuru Hanyu in the 2022 Olympics
Even though he was the evening’s final skater, the Japanese star remained silent after his performance, leaving his future open to speculation.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist skated to a live performance of “Real Face” by J-Pop sensation Suga Shikao at the Makuhari Event Hall in Chiba Prefecture, wowing the sold-out crowd with a triple Axel and quadruple toe loop.
Hanyu returned to the stage alone when the lights went off, pumped his fist, and yelled, “Thank you!”
As of a gala on February 20 in Beijing, the 27-year-old skater has not skated since an exhibition. A day later, he flew back to Japan, where he has been incognito ever since.
The Hanyu Update on His Ankle Injury
When the skaters were presented, Hanyu’s name was announced and an unprecedented degree of applause erupted from the crowd.
This evening, he was amongst very elite company.
All of the world’s best figure skaters were present, from Torino 2006 gold medalist Arakawa Shizuka to new world champion Sakamoto Kaori, from Javier Fernandez to Johnny Weir and Beijing ice dance champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron.
Hanyu revealed the severity of his damaged right ankle from Beijing’s free skate was underestimated in a pre-event interview with host broadcasters.
Hanyu returned home from his third Olympics without a medal for the first time in his career, having finished fourth.
I initially misjudged the severity of the damage to my right ankle. Even though there were times when I couldn’t practise, I’ve noticed a big improvement recently.
“I’ve been pushing through it and now I can give it my all in my performances,” he said.
Hanyu spent his time in Beijing trying to land the quadruple Axel in competition, but he was unable to do so.
At the Games, he seemed to have given up on attempting the quad Axel, but his response here is perplexing.
Skating requires a lot of energy, and (the 4A) is like gasoline for me,” Hanyu explained. “I want to keep pushing myself in that direction.”
All four stops on the ‘Fantasy on Ice’ tour will feature Hanyu as the featured performer. Thanks for reading our article Is Yuzuru Hanyu in the 2022 Olympics.