Yuzuru Hanyu, Figure Skating Icon, Reveals Wedding News, Evoking Mixed Emotions Amongst Fans

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Yuzuru Hanyu figure skating wedding marriage Beijing Winter Olympics

FILE–Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu performs in the figure skating exhibition gala during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on February 20, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

TOKYO–Japan’s Olympic gold-medal winning figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu announced his marriage late Friday, drawing congratulations from his fanbase, though some seemed sad that the photogenic 28-year-old would no longer be romantically available.

Hanyu did not say who his partner was when declaring his new marital status on X, the social media messaging platform formerly as Twitter.

いつも応援してくださっている皆様へ pic.twitter.com/mP8r36WY65

— 羽生結弦official_Staff 公式 (@YUZURUofficial_) August 4, 2023

“Thanks (to everyone) for supporting me always … I’ve decided to get married this time,” he said in the post.

“As I’ve lived with skating for 24 years, I’ve thought about various things particularly in the past several years over the fast-changing world including COVID-19 and natural disasters,” he added.

The skater’s hometown of Sendai suffered extensive damage from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coast in 2011.

Yuzuru Hanyu figure skating Japan marriage wedding

FILE PHOTO: Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu holds flowers as he attends a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China in Tokyo, Japan September 29, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Hanyu, who won Olympic gold medals in both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Games, could not be reached immediately for direct comment.

Hanyu retired from competition aged 27 in July last year, after struggling with injuries at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

“I’ll no longer be compared with other skaters as a competitor,” Hanyu said during that time, saying he will concentrate on skating in exhibition shows for his adoring fans.

“I have no sadness. I want to continue to do my best.”

There was a clear sense of loss in the reaction among many fans both in and outside Japan, as “Hanyu loss” became a fast trending hashtag on social media.

“I’m taking Monday off due to ‘Hanyu loss’,” read on post on X, while another predicted many more fans would be doing the same.

On China’s Weibo messaging app, another fan wrote “the world has become empty.” –with reports from Agence France-Presse


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