Yuzuru Hanyu (born December 7, 1994) is a Japanese men's single discipline figure skater. He is most famous for winning gold in two consecutive Olympic Games, 2014 Sochi and 2018 Pyeongchang (being the first male figure skater to do so in 66 years, after American skater Dick Button). He started skating at the age of four, following his sister Saya to a rink for fun, and has since then become the most prolific figure skater in history. He has broken world records 19 times to date. Consistently excellent in both technical skills and artistry, he pleases both fans of figure skating as a sport and those who prefer it more as a form of art.
After winning the Junior Worlds Championships in the 2009-2010 season, Hanyu debuted as a senior skater and has been active there since. He's had his share of misfortune. Injury has held him back at times, most notably in the 2017-2018 season, where he only got back to jumping his most difficult jumps just a fortnight before the Olympic Games.
Hanyu trains in Toronto Cricket Club under Brian Orser, Tracy Wilson, and jump coach Ghislain Briand who together have coached several other accomplished singles' skaters, including Yuna Kim, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Jason Brown.
Tropes associated with Yuzuru Hanyu:
- The Ace:
- He is a two-time back-to-back Olympic Champion, two-time World Champion, four-time consecutive Grand Prix Final champion, five-time Japanese Nationals champion, and his count of silvers and bronzes are too many to list. He holds all the historical world records, and is the current holder of the new short program world record under the newest judging system.
- Of the six quadruple jump types, toeloop, Salchow, loop, flip, Lutz and Axel listed in order of increasing base value, Hanyu is capable of jumping all excluding the quad flip, and the quad Axel which has never been done before in competition history. As of 2020, he is able to land the quad axel in harnesses, and is aiming for a quintuple.
- Clark Kent Outfit: His costumes tend to emphasize his small proportions (especially his waist, even when standing next to fellow Pretty Boy Roman Sadovsky) and gracefulness. Beneath them, he's actually ripped, as befitting a figure skater on top of his form in a sport/art where muscle size isn't relative to strength.
- Costume Evolution: It's common for his competition costumes to have multiple versions. Usually, the "updated" version is accompanied by a more technically and artistically refined program. It can go from minor adjustments (example: the Seimei costume changing colors) or a completely new costume altogether (example: Origin 1.0 being inspired by Hanyu's name note and 2.0 being a Shout-Out to the Vaslav Nijinsky ballet "The Spirit of the Rose" and Hanyu's hero Evgeni Plushenko's "Tribute to Nijinsky" program set to almost the same music).
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Within the already rather sparkly figure skating costume world, Hanyu's costumes are an exaggeration. Not a single one of his costumes has featured anything less than fifty rhinestones, with his Origin 2.0 costume blinding people as he skates by. He makes it work.
- Good Luck Charm:
- He brings his Winnie-the-Pooh shaped tissue box cover (affectionately referred to as Pooh-san by Hanyu and his fandom) with him to competitions, and he frequently squeezes its head before a skate for good luck. Since the Olympics didn't allow Pooh in due to licensing rules, he smuggled the box from Pooh-san in a generic strawberry cake cover. Fans made up for it with the usual "Pooh rain" (throwing stuffed Pooh bears and other Pooh merch at him) anyway. The Olympic Channel acknowledged the dynamic duo by showing a Pooh bear sitting rinkside waiting for a victorious Hanyu fresh off the Seimei program. note
- A new Pooh-san made his debut at All Japan 2020. This one is fluffier, scruffier, holds a yuzu fruit in his hands and Pooh-themed honey lotion tissues underneath.
- Hotter and Sexier: Most of his competition programs rely on an ethereal, fae-like aesthetic, even when they're intense and passionate (see: Origin). ''Let's Go Crazy'' leaned on the sexy angle, with a form-fitting costume that emphasizes his curves, but still stays within the sparkly idealized aesthetics. Then came ''Let Me Entertain You'', which wholeheartedly embraced a rockstar leather look with slicked-back hair (similar to LGC).
- The Lightfooted: Even among figure skaters, who require a lot of grace for their artistic components, Hanyu stands out. He's short, slim, lithe, light on his feet, and some of his signature moves (hydroblading, Bielmann spin, etc.) are more often seen in ladies' skating than men's (because a lot of men simply don't have the required flexibility). His costumes often emphasize gracefulness. At least two have been bird-themed (Origin 1.0 and Notte Stellata, with black and white feathers respectively. The latter has been nicknamed "Swanyu"). Google included a shot of Hanyu jumping in one of their ads with the caption "superheroes who can fly". It's not much of an exaggeration, since Hanyu is capable of covering incredible distances and heights with his jumps.
- Shout-Out: While his Origin routine version 1.0 used the music from Evgeni Plushenko's tribute to Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky (making this a double shoutout since Plushenko is Hanyu's idol), version 2.0 ups the ante by having Hanyu's costume shouting out to Nijinsky's short ballet The Spirit of the Rose.
- Signature Move: He's known for the triple Axel and the hydroblade. Additionally, both the Ina Bauer and Biellmann spin are not often done by men due to the incredible flexibility necessary, but have been his staples for many years.
- Painted-On Pants: In general, his pants do have to be form-fitting for aerodynamic reasons, given the demands of the sport. According to competition regulations, male skaters' pants must not resemble leggings, or they will be penalized for it. Skaters going for this trope usually have their pants flare out at the hems. However (as of 2020) he's had at least three programs in a pair of very tight-fitting leather pants designed to emphasize the sensual nature of the choreography: "Vertigo", "Hello, I Love You", and "Let Me Entertain You". (The first two are non-competition programs and therefore not subject to the "no leggings" regulation.) His pants for Let's Go Crazy are also this trope, earning the Fan Nickname of "Purple Pants of Sin".
- Promoted Fanboy: Hanyu has idolized Evgeni Plushenko since he was a child, even specifically copying Plushenko's hairstyle. They very nearly competed against each other at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, but Plushenko had to withdraw and retire due to injury. Now, they often appear in ice shows together, including Hanyu's own show Continues with Wings, the cast of which are all skaters who inspired Hanyu.