Yuzuru Hanyu came, skated and conquered. It was a huge risk, turning up at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in February to defend his title after not having competed for three months. But Hanyu, never one to back down from a challenge, came prepared.
It took just two and a half minutes for any doubts about his physical condition to be dispelled, as he delivered yet another brilliant display of unrivaled determination in the short program in PyeongChang.
He came back the next day to lay down a dazzling display in the men’s free skate. The 23-year-old nailed a tough program to claim his second consecutive Olympic crown.
Addressing journalists in the mixed zone following his victory,Hanyu said he decided which jumps he would perform when he woke up that morning. “That was how I planned it. I can say that because of my injury Ilearned how important strategies are. I was able to prepare myself, faithfully following my plan, and I was able to control myself and do well.
“The toe loops, Axels andSalchows are jumps that have stayedwith me for a long time, so I was thanking them as I going for those jumps. I was so grateful to my right ankle for holding up to the end.”