Winter Olympics; Hanyu posts video message asking for support

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4 (APP): Double Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu posted a video on Twitter and promised to attempt a quadruple Axel at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Japan’s double gold medalist has still not been seen in public in Beijing but the star has posted a video message asking fans for support and promising to attempt a quad Axel at the Winter Games.

Missing from practice sessions all week, Hanyu had fans and media on edge as they awaited word on his arrival in the host city.

The 27-year-old defending Olympic champion, wearing the Team Japan kit against a plain white backdrop, addressed fans in a 38-second video posted on the Japan Skating Federation’s twitter feed.

“At the Beijing Olympics, I am of course definitely planning to go for the win, including the 4A,” Hanyu said, using the shorthand for the quad Axel.

“For that, I know I’ll definitely need everyone’s power, so please cheer me on,” he added.

Hanyu has been pursuing the 4A, the only quadruple of the six figure skating jumps not to be successfully landed in competition with a determination verging on obsession.

His absence has left local fans in Beijing beside themselves, with some posting cheeky social media photos of the skater with the missing person message: “HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?” splashed at the top.

“It feels the entire world is looking for Hanyu,” was trending on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, with 30 million views over 24 hours.

According to the official page of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the figure skating competition is one of the fiercest at the Winter Olympics – one slight error, and a competitor’s chance of a medal goes up in smoke. To win gold, you have to be flawless. Hanyu Yuzuru (JPN) has been just that at the last two editions of the Games, winning gold in Sochi (2014) and PyeongChang (2018) in the men’s singles.

The two-time world champion (2014, 2017), considered to be one of the greatest male figure skaters in history, will surely be the man to beat in Beijing as he looks for a third consecutive men’s singles title, a feat not achieved since 1928.

The individual men’s competition is on Feb. 8 and Feb. 10.