Yuzuru Hanyu off ice for Worlds
In a statement released on March 1, the Japan Skating Federation confirmed that crowd favourite Yuzuru Hanyu would not be participating in the ISU World Figure Skating Championship, disheartening millions of fans.
Hanyu is regarded as one of, if not, the best figure skaters of all time. He has won 2 Olympic golds at Sochi and Pyeongchang prior to the recent Beijing Olympics. The 27 year old has broken 19 world records and was the first person to successfully land a quadruple loop in a competition. Unfortunately, he didn’t place in the 2022 Beijing Olympics but came 4th due to an unlucky fall when he attempted the legendary quadruple axel. The skater had been suffering from an injured ankle acquired during a practice session in Beijing right before his free skate. Therefore, he has been advised to rest and not compete at Worlds (which took place on 21-28 March).
"On the day of the free skate, my leg was hurting so much that I did not know if I was going to compete. But I got an injection right before the skate and decided to do it anyway. I don't want it to sound like an excuse — but if this had been a normal competition and not the Olympics, I might have withdrawn," quoted Hanyu.
The “Ice Prince” of Japan has continuously suffered from a slew of nasty injuries that have forced him to stay out of several competitions. This recent ankle sprain is just another one on a long list. However, his fans have flooded his social media with messages of love and encouragement, wholeheartedly supporting Hanyu’s decision of keeping his health a priority, no matter their disappointment. Thankfully we won't be seeing a redo of the infamous Cup of China competition during which he still participated despite having cranial bruising and stitches after a head on collision with another skater during a warmup. It's gratifying to see that he is putting his health first and not taking any unnecessary risks. Yuzuru Hanyu is known for putting his heart and soul into each and every performance. If he was unable to skate permanently, it would be a devastating blow to both him and the figure skating world.
Hopefully the figure skater makes a full recovery and is able to take part in another competition soon. The whole world is waiting in anticipation to see what Yuzuru Hanyu will do next, and if he can successfully land the long awaited quadruple axel.