If you are a fan of figure skating then you should be familiar with the record and barrier-breaking Japanese, Yuzuru Hanyu. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and he has won the World Championship title six-times! It is also interesting to know that this extraordinary figure skater is in his late teenage years. While you are here, we will also fill you in on reasons why some of his fans think he is gay as well as six interesting facts about this talented figure skater.
Hanyu picked interest in Figure Skating at age 4
The six-time figure skating champion started showing interest in the sport when he was barely 4 years old. At that tender age, Yuzuru Hanyu was living with asthma, a condition he was diagnosed with when he was only two years old. However, his condition did not deter his attraction to ice and he would often follow his older sister to their local ice rink in Sendai.
Won his first main competition at age 6
Yuzuru Hanyu’s first win was the Daiei Cup which he won at age 6 and this marked the beginning of his journey to greatness. Not too long after that, his first competition at the National level came in 2004 when he competed in the Novice B group of the Japan Novice Championships. This competition also ended in victory for the youngster who won a gold medal and during this period, he was in his 4th grade in Elementary school.
In 2006, the talented skater competed in group A of the same National competition and even though he came out with the bronze medal this time, he earned a spot to compete at the Japan Junior Championships of the 2006-07 season. The following year, Yuzuru won a gold medal and a bronze medal at the Novice and Junior championships respectively.
Youngest Japanese male skater to win the National Junior Championship
Hanyu became the youngest male skater in the history of Japan to land the title of National Junior Champion which he won at age 13. This launched Yuzuru Hanyu into competing as a junior, both in international and world levels.
Became the World Best Figure Skater in 2013
As the young skater’s skills improved, he went from being the 95th best figure skater in the world to being number 1 in 2013. Yuzuru Hanyu was also able to hold this record for five consecutive years until 2018.
First Asian male skater to win an Olympic Gold Medal
In 2014, Yuzuru Hanyu who was 13 years old became the first male Asian skater to win Olympic gold as well as breaking the record by becoming the youngest holder of the Olympic Gold medal – a record that has been untouched since 1948 when Dick Button won the title at 18. The talented skater went on to seal his success by winning the Olympic Gold again at the Olympic event in 2018.
Yuzuru Hanyu loves cartoons
The figure skater is fond of the A.A. Milne’s animation character, Winnie the Pooh bear and he believes the bear is his lucky charm. This fascination made Yuzuru Hanyu start carrying a tissue box-shaped as Pooh bear in 2010.
Since he shot to fame, his endearing fans have repeatedly used the cartoon character as a symbol of their solidarity to the skater. They have taken to tossing Pooh bears at him during a game. On several occasions, they have brought their own Pooh bears to Hanyu’s skating games in Pyeongchang. The figure skater now carries a Pooh bear as a mascot.
Yuzuru Hanyu’s Fact Card
Is Yuzuru Hanyu Gay?
Certain stereotypes and misconceptions about gay people are unfortunately more pronounced for men like Hanyu in the figure skating world. Although the world generally seems to be more accepting of homosexuality these days, the fight against such stereotypes as attributing homosexuality to men who wear skin tights has not been completely won yet.
It is important to know that there are as many openly straight people in the sport as there are gay people. Unfortunately, they are all packed together and teased as gay because they wear tight-fitting wears – which best suits the sport. This assumption has rubbed off on Yuzuru Hanyu as he has been classified as gay. However, to the best of our knowledge, these rumors are fake as the World champion is not a gay man.