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Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, two-time gold medalist, quits competitive figure skating

By Alex Butler,


July 19 (UPI) -- Legendary figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, who won two Olympic gold medals for Japan, has retired from competition, he announced Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo.

Hanyu, 27, broke more than a dozen world records. The Miyagi native won gold in singles at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The "Ice Prince" also was a two-time world champion.

"As far as competitions and results go, I think I have been able to take all the things I wanted to take," Hanyu told reporters.

Hanyu said he plans to continue as a professional athlete, despite his departure from major competitions. He also vowed to continue his fight to complete a quadruple axel, a maneuver never mastered in a figure skating competition.

"Being Yuzuru Hanyu is a heavy burden," he said, in reference to pressure he faced and comparisons to other figure skaters.

Haynu became the first Asian man to win figure skating gold at the 2014 Winter Games. That medal, which he won at age 19, made him the youngest men's champion since 1948.

He attempted to complete the quadruple axel -- which features four and one-half rotations in the air -- at the 2022 Winter Games. He placed eighth in the short program to qualify for the free skate in Beijing.

Hanyu fell twice early on in the free skate, but went on to finish third in the event and fourth overall in the individual competition.

He later told reporters he sustained a right ankle sprain during a practice session while at the Winter Games. American Nathan Chen won gold in the singles competition. Japan's Yuma kagiyama and Shoma Uno won silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Hanyu's ankle injury prevented his participation in March's World Figure Skating Championships.

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu retires from figure skating: a look back

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