Yuzuru Hanyu

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They shall be replaced as soon as verifiable translations are available.
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Efforts will lie, but they will not be in vain.

Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生 結弦, Hanyū Yuzuru, born December 7, 1994) is a Japanese figure skater and the first in 66 years since 1952 to win back-to-back Olympic gold in the men's singles discipline. In recognition of his historic and inspirational achievements Hanyu received the People's Honour Award in 2018. As a survivor of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and conquerer of multiple career-threatening injuries he has become a symbol of hope for the people and is known for his unadorned and impactful words.

Quotes from Hanyu's autobiographies[edit]

Blue Flame[edit]

I often feel that things you take for granted are not always guaranteed. Everything exists just by luck. Because I almost lost a lot of things, I came to feel this way.

蒼い炎 (Blue Flame), published by 扶桑社 (Fusosha Publishing Inc.), Tokyo, 7 April 2012, ISBN 978-4594065980.
English translations from the article Yuzuru Hanyu – past, present and future on Absolute Skating, written by Anna Zeitlin, Yuka Ichikawa, consulted by Reut Golinsky, published on 7 December 2012.

  • これから試合が始まったら、羽生は地震のせいで成績が落ちた、なんてことにはしたくない。もちろん自分が被災者の代表であることの誇りは絶対に失いはしないけれど、「地震のなかで頑張った」「地震のせいで頑張れなかった」ではなく、普通の選手として、何も関係なく戦えるだけの力をつけたいんです。
    • Translation: I wouldn't like to hear people say 'Hanyu can't skate well due to the earthquake', when the next season starts... I will never lose my pride in representing the disaster areas, but I want to grow stronger and compete as an ordinary skater, regardless of my circumstances.
    • Annotation: This quote originates from an interview given in May 2011.
    • Page: 74.
  • 今はとにかく、一日一日を大事にしたいと思う。何気ない日常の一日一日、アイスショーの日々、練習の日々、試合の日々をすべて大切にしたい。そんなことを、あの日を境により強く感じるようになりました。
    • Translation: More than anything else, I want to make every day count now. I want to make every single normal day, every ice show, every practice and every competition count. That's what I have been thinking about the most since the day of the earthquake.
    • Page: 165.
  • 「あって当然のもの」なんてないんだな、ということを、よく考えます。今、自分がここにいること。自分の家が、まだ無事に建っていること。そばに家族がいてくれること。どれをとっても当たり前のことなんかじゃない。本当に偶然、幸運に恵まれて存在しているものだということ。一度はいろいろなものを失いかけたことで、改めてそう考えるようになりました。まだ17歳のちっぽけな僕ですが、価値観を大きく変えられてしまう……東日本大震災は、そんな出来事でした。
    • Translation: I often feel that things you take for granted are not always guaranteed. You are here, you still have a home, and your family is there for you; you can't take them for granted. Everything exists just by luck. Because I almost lost a lot of things, I came to feel this way. I'm only 17 years old, but the disaster totally changed my values... The Great East Japan Earthquake was such a big event.
    • Page: 166.

The highlighted parts were also quoted in various articles, such as [1] in The New York Times, published on 14 February 2014, or [2] on the Olympic Channel, published on 14 February 2020. (Both retrieved 14 September 2020)

Blue Flame II[edit]

People think that I am in a position to support people around me. However, on the contrary, I realized that I was the one who had been receiving so much support.

蒼い炎II (Blue Flame II), published by 扶桑社 (Fusosha Publishing Inc.), Tokyo, 2 July 2016, ISBN 978-4594075132.

  • 震災があってからちょっと変わったかなって思います。やっぱり自分は周囲を支えようとする立場だと思われるんですよ、メディア的な部分でも。自分の演技を通じて応援できれば、という感じに。でも逆に僕がすごく支えられていたなって感じたんです。
    • Translation: I think I have changed a bit since the earthquake. After all, people think that I am in a position to support people around me. That is how the media portray me as well, like, I am hoping to cheer for others with my performance. However, on the contrary, I realized that I was the one who had been receiving so much support.
    • Annotation: Hanyu on the support he had received from his fans since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Excerpt from an interview given after Worlds in April 2012, first published in フィギュアスケートDays (Figure Skate Days), vol.14 on 31 May 2012, ISBN 978-4812533376.
    • Page: 44.
  • 自分は被災者なのかスケーターなのか、ということにすごく迷っていた時期もあったんですけど、どっちでもないのかなという気がしました。明確な答えはまだ出てないですけど、スケーターとして本当にいろんな方に支えられてるなと感じています。
    • Translation: There was a time when I was not sure, if I was a victim of the disaster or a skater, but I feel maybe I am neither of them. I haven't reached a definite answer, but as a skater, I feel so much support from so many people.
    • Annotation: This quote originates from the same source as the one above.
    • Page: 46.
  • 実際こうやって金メダリストになりましたが、僕一人が頑張ったからといって復興に直接つながるわけではないので、すごい無力感というか、そういうのを感じますし、何もできていないんだなと思います。一生懸命やって五輪で金メダルを取れたのはありますけど、やはりここからまた五輪の金メダリストになれたからこそ、スタートなんじゃないかなと思います。ここから復興のためにできることがあるんじゃないかなと、今思っています。
    • Translation: Yes, I am an Olympic gold medalist now, but this medal cannot help the recovery in that region. I feel like I am helpless here. I feel like I am not making any contribution. I worked very hard to get this gold medal. That might be wonderful for me. Because I am a gold medalist in the Olympics, I think this can be the starting point for me. Perhaps there is something I can do for the recovery.
    • Annotation: Hanyu, when asked about what his win might mean to his home town affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami during the press conference of the men's medalists held after the freeskate at the Sochi Olympics 2014.
    • Translation source: Article of the Los Angeles Times, written by Philip Hersh, published 14 February 2014. (Retrieved 23 September 2020)
    • Page: 134.
  • 震災後初めて、津波の被害のあったところまで行き、石巻の中学校を訪問させていただきました。全校生徒の前でスケートの話をしたんですけれど、それより金メダルを持ってきているということにまず、中学生たちがすごく喜んでくれたんです。そして、僕に会っただけでもすごく笑顔になってくれました。生徒の皆さんの笑顔から、被災した方々、本当につらい経験をしてきた方が元気になってくれたということを、教えてもらったというか、肌で感じさせていただいたことが初めてだったので、すごく嬉しかったんです。僕自身が一番感動し、僕自身が元気になったなって思います。
    • Translation: For the first time after the great earthquake, I went to the area affected by the tsunami and visited a junior high school in Ishinomaki. I talked about figure skating in front of the students, but they got so excited to know that I was bringing the gold medal in the first place, and they got big smiles on their faces when they saw me. That made me so happy, because their smile made me learn... or realize for the first time that I could cheer up someone who had been going through a tough time because of the disaster. I think I was the most touched and cheered up there.
    • Annotation: Excerpt from an interview given in June 2014, first published in フィギュアスケート Days Plus 男子シングル読本 2014 Autumn (Figure Skate Days Plus Men's Singles Reader Autumn 2014), published on 4 October 2014, ISBN 978-4812536537.
    • Page: 156.

Yuzuru Hanyu's Sayings[edit]

The driving force for growth is to have an open heart‬.
If you’re going to set goals, it’s better for them to be big. If you write them down decisively, it’s easier to succeed.

羽生結弦語録 (Yuzuru Hanyu's Sayings), collection of photos and quotes, published 25 September 2015 by ぴあ (Pia), ISBN 978-4835628486.

  • 試合でうまくいかなくてもあまり落ち込まないのが僕の特徴です。逆に失敗した試合のあとは100%モチベーションが上がります。
    • Translation: My strong point is that even if I don’t do well in a competition, I don’t really get depressed. On the contrary, my motivation goes up 100% after a competition where I’ve failed.
    • Translation source: [3] (user-translation) from 13 January 2018.
    • Page: 23.
  • いつも心を開いているんです。心を開いていなければ何も吸収できないし、おもしろくない。心を開くことが成長の原動力。
    • Translation: I always open my heart. If you don’t open your heart, you cannot absorb anything and it’s not interesting. The driving force for growth is to have an open heart‬.
    • Translation source: [4] (user-translation) from 13 January 2018.
    • Annotation: This quote originates from an interview of the 2012/13 season. A variation can be found in the Japanese magazine Sports Graphic Number, issue no. 822, released on 7 February 2013.
    • Page: 25.
  • 目標を書くなら大きいほうがいい。具体的に書いたほうが達成しやすい。けっこう理数系です。
    • Translation: If you’re going to set goals, it’s better for them to be big. If you write them down decisively, it’s easier to succeed. Indeed, my way of thinking is quite mathematical.
    • Translation source: [5] (user-translation) from 31 January 2018.
    • Annotation: This quote is excerpted from an interview filmed in Yokohama on 22 November 2009 after an official practice at Japanese Junior Nationals, aired 23 December 2009 in 2009全日本フィギュアスケートジュニア選手権大会 (2009 All Japan Figure Skating Junior Championships) by BS Fuji.
    • Page: 124.

CBC interview with Scott Russell[edit]

I never feel like a champion. I'm always a challenger.

Figure skating star Yuzuru Hanyu shares his emotional journey to becoming world's best: Interview with Scott Russell on CBC Sports, published 16 March 2020. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
Annotation: Occasionally Hanyu switched from English to Japanese to give detailed answers to more complex questions.

  • I really love to skate, I really love to perform. I want to skate for my fans. I never feel like a champion. I'm always a challenger.
  • フィギュアスケートは、1人で大きなリンクで滑ることが出来て、皆さんがそれを見てくださるので、それがすごく特別だなって思いますし、他の競技だったら1人だけを見てくれるということがあんまりないかなって思いますし、後は何か表現したいことを表現するっていうことが出来ないかなって思うんですよね。だからフィギュアスケートはすごく特別だなって思うし、フィギュアスケートがすごく好きだなって思います。
    • Translation: In figure skating, we have the opportunity to skate alone in a large rink, where everyone's attention is focused on one performer. I think that this aspect makes figure skating very special. In other sports it isn’t common that all eyes are on one performer. Also, I don’t think it’s really possible to express what you want to express [in other sports].
  • I bet my life to skate, everytime. I think, that's the mission of my life. That's why I was born here. [...] I was born for my skate.
  • He's a lucky charm for me, but kinda like a coach, because he always watches my performance and he's always with me for every competition. I'm really glad to see his face.
    • Annotation: Hanyu has a plushy tissue case in shape of Winnie The Pooh that he always carries with him to competitions and puts on the boards while he skates.
  • いろんな方々が僕の演技を見た時に勇気を感じたとか、何か幸せになったとか、そういったことを言ってくれて、それが自分にとってのスケートのモチベーションだと思ってますし、それが僕が今スケートを最後までやり通す意味になってるなって思います。
    • Translation: A lot of people said to me that they were able to feel courage or happiness, for instance, when they see my performance. So, I believe that this is my motivation for skating, and that this gives me the reason to go on until the end.
  • えっと、まあ、チャレンジャーっていうことを言われますけど、でもいつも他のスケーターの良いところを追いかけてるし、他のスケーターに対してチャレンジしたいなって思ってるし、だからいつも自分はチャレンジャーだと思っていて、だから今シーズンの世界選手権でも先シーズンの世界選手権でも何も変わらないかなって思います。
    • Translation: Well, I’m being portrayed as the challenger, but I’m always chasing after other skaters’ strengths, and I’m always seeking to challenge other skaters. So, I always see myself as a challenger, and nothing really has changed between this season’s World Championships and last season’s.
    • Annotation: Hanyu's being asked what difference it makes for him to go into the 2020 World Championships as a challenger after being the considered favorite for the title in recent years.

Other quotes[edit]


  • I try to find challenges after every competition and overcome them the next time.
    • Featured quote from Hanyu in his athlete profile on the Olympic Channel, as of September 2020.


The following quotes are listed chronologically, by date of first occurrence (where available) or by original publication date.

2013[edit]

I am me. No more, no less than Yuzuru Hanyu.
  • 僕は僕。羽生結弦以上でも、以下でもない。ありのままの自分が出来る事を、五輪でもしっかりやりたい。
    • Translation: I am me. No more, no less than Yuzuru Hanyu. I want to be myself and do what I can do to the full at the Olympics as well.
    • Source: Interview after Japanese Nationals 2013, as quoted in the Japanese magazine Sports Graphic Number, issue no. 846, released on 30 January 2014.

2014[edit]

Being weak means that you have the potential to become strong.
  • 逆境は嫌いじゃないので。弱くなってる自分がすごく嫌なんです。それは本当に嫌いですけど、でも弱いというのは強くなれる可能性があると思ってるんで。
    • Translation: I don't dislike adversities. What I dislike is myself being weak. I really hate it, but I think being weak means that you have the potential to become strong.
    • Source: Excerpt from a press conference at the NHK Trophy 2014, held on 30 November 2014, aired the same day in ネオスポ (Neospo) on TV Tokyo and 15 December 2014 in News Every on NTV.
  • 次のもう一個の課題を克服するチャンスが来たっていうのは、それはもうただただ、いつも思うように、こんな恵まれたことはないですよ。
    • Translation: The chance to overcome another challenge is simply, as I always feel, a blessing.
    • Source: Interview with Shuzo Matsuoka, aired 9 December 2014 in 報道ステーション (Hodo Station) on TV Asahi.

2015[edit]

  • 明日の自分が今の自分を見たら胸張っていられるように、そんな今を過ごし続けたいなという風に思ってます。
    • Translation: I hope to keep on living the present in a way that I can always be proud of myself in front of tomorrow's me.
    • Source: Interview with NHK on 15 June 2015, aired the same day in the evening news program News Watch 9.

2016[edit]

  • 毎回毎回、被災地とか、津波の被害があったところとか、通るたびにすごく思うんだけれども、僕の言葉なんかじゃ絶対表せないし…言ってみれば部外者だから、僕たちは。人の心に踏み込んじゃいけないところって絶対あるんで…。でもこういう風景を見てる時に思うのは、本当に何ができるかなってことはいつも思います。[...] 本当に僕たちは今生きている中で逆に何を残せるんだろうってすごく思うんですよね、本当にいろんなものがなくなってしまったからこそ。”
    • Translation: Every time I pass by an affected area or a place hit by the tsunami, I think I have no words to describe it... because we are, as we say, outsiders. Everyone has a place in their heart where others should not tread on. However, when I see a landscape like this, I always ask myself what I can do. [...] I really wonder what we can leave [for the future] while being alive now, all the more because so many things were lost.
    • Source: Hanyu during his visit to Otsuchi, Iwate on 7 January 2016, prior to the NHK Trophy Figure Skating Special Exhibition held in Morioka, Iwate. An excerpt from the documentary 明日へーつなげようー 氷上の祈り 東日本大震災5年NHK杯フィギュアスペシャルエキシビションの舞台裏 (Let's connect tomorrow - Prayer on ice, behind the scenes of the NHK Trophy Figure Special Exhibition 5 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake), aired by NHK on 17 January 2016.
  • 努力はウソをつく。でも無駄にはならない。
    • Translation: Efforts will lie, but they will not be in vain.
      Common variation: Effort may lie, but will never be in vain.
    • Source: Interview at the TCC Media Day in September 2016, aired 2 October 2016 in Mr.サンデーHERO’S 合体SP (Mr. Sunday Hero's Gattai Special) on Fuji TV.
  • プレッシャー大好き、崖っぷち大好き、ヤッホーイ。
    • Translation: I love pressure. I love being on the edge of a cliff. Yahooi.
    • Source: Interview with Shuzo Matsuoka, aired 28 November 2016 in 報道ステーション (Hodo Station) on TV Asahi.
  • 自分がすべきことを集中してやっていけば、自ずと道は開かれてくると信じているので。
    • Translation: I believe that if you focus on what you should do, the road ahead will open up naturally.
    • Source: Interview at the arrival in Marseille ahead of the Grand Prix Final 2016, published 7 December 2016 by テレビ朝日 フィギュアスケート (TV Asahi Figure Skate on Twitter). (Retrieved 11 September 2020)

2017[edit]

  • It’s thanks to Javi, if I beat my pressure. When I feel nervous, he’s usually talking about something funny. So I think, I owe what I won to him.
    • Hanyu about Javier Fernández in the Spanish sports magazine program Informe Robinson, aired 16 February 2017 on #0.
  • 自分の中で特にこれになりたいというのはないけど、アニメとかは好きだし、なんかとにかく劇的に勝ちたいという気持ちはすごくあります。
    • Translation: I don't have a hero in particular that I want to be, but I like watching anime, and I quite like to win in a dramatic way.
    • Source: Hanyu at the men's free press conference at the Rostelecom Cup 2017, as quoted in フィギュアスケートマガジン 2017-2018 シーズンスタート B.B.MOOK 1391 (Figure Skate Magazine, 2017-2018 season's start issue), released on 31 October 2017, ISBN 978-4583625294.

2018[edit]

Artistry is founded upon absolute technical prowess, that's what I think.
  • I am an athlete, and as an athlete it’s normal to keep challenging to do more and more.
    • Interpretation of a Japanese interview, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman, published 4 January 2018. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
  • Honestly, sometimes I’m feeling like they treat me as a celebrity or an idol, but I’m not quite that. But I understand they’re all here to support me and I appreciate that passion.
    • Interpretation of a Japanese interview, as quoted in the same The New York Times-article linked above, published 4 January 2018.
  • My strength is, I’m able to really analyze myself and have that image and try to match that with the physical skating.
    • Hanyu quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman and Victor Mather, published 16 February 2018. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
  • それがあるから絶対幸せが来るんだっていうのをひたすら待ってました。「明けない夜はない」。
    • Translation: Because there were such moments [of doubt], I earnestly thought that happiness has to come in the end and waited for it. 'There is no night that doesn't dawn'.
    • Source: Interview with Nobunari Oda and Shuzo Matsuoka after the men's freeskate at the Olympic Winter Games 2018, aired 17 February 2018 in 平昌五輪 フィギュア男子フリー&表彰式/スキージャンプラージヒル (Pyeongchang Olympics Men's Free & Awards Ceremony / Ski Jump Large Hill) on TV Asahi.
  • 難易度と芸術 のバランスというのは本当はないんじゃないかな、芸術は絶対的な技術力に基づいたものである、と僕は思っています。
    • Translation: That so-called balance between [technical] difficulty and artistry, to me that doesn't actually exist. Artistry is founded upon absolute technical prowess, that's what I think.
    • Source: Official transcript of the post-Olympic press conference at 日本記者クラブ (Japan National Press Club) from 27 February 2018. (Retrieved 14 September 2020)
  • たとえばバレエとかミュージカルとかもそうですけれども、芸術というのは、明らかに正しい技術、徹底された基礎によって裏付けされた表現力、芸術であって、それが足りないと芸術にはならないと僕は思っています。
    • Interpreter: I believe – and this is the case not only for figure skating but for other forms of art including ballet and musicals as well – that this artistry is very much based on having the correct technique and a strong foundation at the core of everything. It is upon these that the artistry is built, and without that strong foundation and that basis in technique, it is not possible to have that full artistry required as well.
    • Source: Press conference at the Foreign Correspondence Club of Japan from 27 February 2018. (Retrieved 14 September 2020)
  • 特に自分からコメントを常に発信したいなとは思ってないし、何よりも、自分がたくさんの方々に愛してもらってるのはすごく分かってるので…うん…あのー、何だろう? 特別自分から何かをしなくてもいいかなという風に思っています。
    • Translation: I am not really into making a lot of comments for myself. More than anything, I am already feeling a lot of love from many supporters. So... in that sense, I don't think I need to do anything special.
    • Source: Hanyu about his absence from social media in an interview at the Olympics 2018, published 27 February 2018 on the Olympic Channel. (Retrieved 18 September 2020)

2019[edit]

The Olympic Games are what every athlete and figure skater wants to win. Winning them makes you a true champion.
In skating I can use all languages, for all the people.
  • I will never forget your performance. Thank you for allowing me to come to Toronto. I’ll respect you forever. Ganbatte, Javi, vamos!
  • I managed to win twice, but the Olympics are something special. The Olympic Games are what every athlete and figure skater wants to win. Winning them makes you a true champion.
    • Quote from an article on the Olympic Channel, published 3 April 2019. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)
  • I'd like to overcome more barriers. I'd like to be in the position where, no matter what happens - even if they skate their free skate clean - if I skate clean, I will win.
    • Quote from the same article on the Olympic Channel linked above, published 3 April 2019.
  • I want to be stronger. Maybe I need to become a Yuzuru Hanyu who is more Yuzuru Hanyu.
    • Quote from the same article on the Olympic Channel linked above, published 3 April 2019.
  • Sometimes I can't explain or speak with words. It really feels a little frustrating. But in skating I can use all languages, for all the people. I can do a part of the performance for every country, every people.
    • Source: Interview after the freeskate at Skate Canada 2019, as transcribed by the International Skating Union, published on 28 October 2019 on their official YouTube-Channel.

2020[edit]

It’s the music that engenders the expression, artistry, and technique that is figure skating, I think that music and figure skating are essentially one and the same.
Costumes are important tools for me to express the story in my program. I also think that costumes are one of the things that serve to highlight the uniqueness of Yuzuru Hanyu, the skater.
  • なんかこのプログラムは自分のプログラムで、もうこれで滑るのは本当に数え切れないぐらい滑ることになっているけれど、自分ではワインとか、チーズみたいなもので、今までこんなフィギュアスケートの形ってなかったかもしれないけれど、滑れば滑るほど、時間をかければかけるほど熟成されて、いろんな深みが出るプログラム。
    • Translation: This program is, after all, my program — a program I’ve skated countless times in competition. It can be compared to something like wine and cheese. You may not have seen this kind of figure skating until now, but the more I skate the program, the more time passes, the program also ages in a way that brings out its various depths.
    • Source: Press conference after the men's short at the Four Continents Championships 2020, as quoted in an article from 日刊スポーツ (Nikkan Sports), published the same day on 7 February 2020. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
    • Annotation: Hanyu has reused his short program Chopin's Ballade No. 1 the fourth time in six seasons, which is unusual in competitive skating.
  • そこに音楽があるから、フィギュアスケートっていう表現だったり、芸術だったり、技術っていうものがそこに生まれてくるのであって、音楽とフィギュアスケートっていうのがほぼイコールだと僕は思ってます。で、僕にとっては… なんて言うか、生きがいです。フィギュアスケートをやる理由です。
    • Translation: Because it’s the music that engenders the expression, artistry, and technique that is figure skating, I think that music and figure skating are essentially one and the same. [...] It’s my raison d'être. It’s the reason I skate.
    • Source: Hanyu in an interview from 2019 about the meaning of the music, aired 28 March 2020 in フィギペディア~2019-2020シーズン特別編 (Figurepedia 2019-2020 season special edition) on TV Asahi.
  • Costumes are important tools for me to express the story in my program. I also think that costumes are one of the things that serve to highlight the uniqueness of Yuzuru Hanyu, the skater. [...] People who see it, will feel that it has to be Yuzuru, it has to be this program and costume.
    • Excerpt from Hanyu's nominee-speech for Best Costume of the Year at the inaugural ISU Skating Awards, aired 11 July 2020. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
  • It would be terrible, if no one expected anything from me. [...] Of course, I can't always deliver one hundred percent, but what I always try to do is: respond to their expectation at one hundred twenty percent level. That's why – when I fail to do so – the disappointment is huge, and when I [succeed], it's an amazing sense of achievement that no words can describe.
    • Excerpt from Hanyu's nominee-speech for Most Valuable Skater of the Year at the inaugural ISU Skating Awards, aired 11 July 2020.
  • It's not only me, who is serving this sport. Figure skating is a sport. Yes, there are shows, but we're athletes and competitors. You can't compete with only one skater. There are so many amateur skaters, who gather to compete. This is how figure skating as a sport is made.
    • Excerpt from Hanyu's acceptance speech at the inaugural ISU Skating Awards, aired 11 July 2020.
  • 僕が見せたいスケートとか、僕が表現したいものとか、そういうものってやっぱり身体がないと何もできないので、まずは身体を大切に、そしてまわりも人も大切に、大事なものを僕は、スケートという大事なものを守れるように、しっかり胸を張って行動できることをやっていきたいと思います。
    • Translation: The kind of performance I want to show, and the things I want to express, ultimately, I cannot do any of that without being healthy. So firstly, I’d like to take good care of my body and also the people around me. I want to contribute what I can, as seriously as I can and with pride, in order to protect figure skating, which itself is something precious to me.
    • Source: Interview given 28 December 2020, first aired 7 March 2021 on BS Fuji.
    • Translation source: Yuzuru Hanyu – FS TV Japanese Nationals Interview Clip by Axel with Wings, published 7 March 2021. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)

2021[edit]

It's not about gender. It's more about individuality and the character each skater has and that’s what makes figure skating so interesting and attractive.
  • 振り付け1つ1つに、今回はお客さんがいないのでなかなかコネクトすることは難しいですけれども、1つ1つにお客さんとつながるような振りが多くあるので、それもまたこのプログラムの魅力かなと思います。
    • Translation: Looking back on each element, the absence of the audience this time meant that it was difficult to make that connection [with the crowd], but there are a lot of movements in the choreography that try to speak to the audience, so I think that’s also a key appeal for this program.
    • Source: Part 1 of the interview after the men's short program at Worlds 2021, as quoted in an article by Nippon Sports (Sponichi), published 26 March 2021. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
    • Translation source: Yuzuru Hanyu – World Championships 2021 Post-SP Interview by Axel with Wings, published 26 March 2021. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
    • Annotation: Hanyu had to perform his short program Let me entertain you by Robbie Williams in front of empty rinks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was asked, what he wanted to express with that piece of music in particular.
  • 女子と男子のスケートの違いについては、もちろん、その繊細さだったり、パワフルさだったり、いろんなものが違うとは思います。ただ、そのそれぞれのスケーターが素晴らしい個性を持っていて、その個性を出すことがフィギュアスケートのすごく魅力的なところだと思うので、全スケーターがみんな違うと僕は思っています。
    • Interpreter: Now, the difference between gender: Of course I'm sure, there is many such as delicateness as well as powerfulness and all of that. But it’s not about gender. It's more about individuality and the character each skater has and that’s what makes figure skating so interesting and attractive. So I think, if all skaters can show their own uniqueness, that's what figure skating is all about.
    • Source: Official press conference of the men's short program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 in Stockholm, aired 25 March 2021. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
    • Annotation: Hanyu was answering to a journalist's question, whether there is any difference between male and female skating.
  • なんか限界だなって感じはないです。ただ、この限界だなって思うかもしれない時期をどうやって乗り越えていくか。
    • Translation: I don’t feel like I’ve hit my limit yet. Rather, it’s a question of how I overcome moments in which I may feel like this is my limit.
    • Source: Part 1 of the final interview at Worlds 2021 in Stockholm, as quoted in an article by Nippon Sports (Sponichi), published 28 March 2021. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
    • Translation source: Yuzuru Hanyu – World Championships 2021 ‘Day After’ Interview by Axel with Wings, published 28 March 2012. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
  • 確実にうまくなっているんで、羽生結弦。ふふ。普通にうまくなってるんで。[...] だから、あまりすごい限界だから辞める、みたいな感触はないですね。
    • Translation: This Yuzuru Hanyu is, without a doubt, still improving. Hehe. Indeed getting better. [...] That’s why, for me, there’s not really the feeling that I should quit because I’ve reached my limits or anything.
    • Source: Part 3 of the final interview at Worlds 2021 in Stockholm, as quoted in an article by Nippon Sports (Sponichi), published 28 March 2021. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
    • Translation source: Yuzuru Hanyu – World Championships 2021 ‘Day After’ Interview by Axel with Wings, published 30 March 2012. (Retrieved 31 March 2021)
    • Annotation: Hanyu's response, if he intends to retire after having succeeded at jumping the quadruple Axel.


Attributed[edit]

  • できなかったら、できるまでやる。できるようになったら、完璧にできるまでやる。完璧にできるようになったら、何度でも、完璧にできるまでやる。
    • Translation: If I can't do it, I will work on it until I can. If I become able to do it, I will work on it until I can do it perfectly. If I become able to do it perfectly, I will work on it until I can do it perfectly any number of times.
    • Source: Lines from a TV commercial for 味の素 アミノバイタル (AJINOMOTO amino VITAL), released on 1 October 2014, as quoted in フィギュアスケート14-15シーズン序盤号, published on 15 November 2014 by 日刊スポーツ新聞社 (Nikkan Sports News).
    • Annotation: It's unclear, whether this quote is from Hanyu himself or based on a commercial script, but it's commonly attributed to him.

Quotes about Yuzuru Hanyu[edit]

Live commentaries from competition broadcasts[edit]

2012[edit]

  • When Yuzuru is on, his jumps are sensational. When he's off, his falls are spectacular.
  • Watch this footwork into the triple Axel on one foot. He doesn't even put the other foot down and then choreography on the landing. I want to see people to do that on a single Axel, let alone a triple. That is an incredibly difficult entrance.
    • Kurt Browning reacting to Hanyu's world record in the short program at Skate America 2012, aired 19 October 2012 on CBC Sports.

2014[edit]

There are good skaters and there are great skaters and then there is Yuzuru Hanyu who is on a whole other level.
– Carol Lane
  • He went for the quads and he fell. He went for the triple Axel and he fell. Went for the Loop and the Lutz and he fell. [...] But still, the skating quality was there. What a character he is.
    • Source: Christopher Howarth reacting to Hanyu's freeskate at the Cup of China 2014, aired 8 November 2014 on British Eurosport.
    • Annotation: Hanyu collided with Chinese skater Yan Han in the six-minute warm-up and needed medical treatment before the freeskate. In his performance he fell five times, but still managed to finish second overall and keep his chance to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.
  • He does have everything. He has exceptional skating skills, he interprets well, his spins are one of the best in the competition and when he's on, his jump quality is the best, too.
    • Mark Hanretty after Hanyu's freeskate at the Cup of China 2014, aired 8 November 2014 on British Eurosport.
  • Jumps like that, possibly, are dropped from heaven and he is just the right guy to catch them.
    • Kurt Browning commenting on Hanyu's triple Axel combination in his freeskate at the Grand Prix Final 2014, aired 13 December 2014 on CBC Sports.
  • You know, there are good skaters and there are great skaters and then there is Yuzuru Hanyu who is on a whole other level.
    • Carol Lane during Hanyu's freeskate at the Grand Prix Final 2014, aired 13 December 2014 on CBC Sports.

2015[edit]

Welcome to planet Hanyu. Population one, HIM!
– Massimiliano Ambesi
  • It may not be an Olympic moment, but this is a moment that he's gonna remember forever. In front of the fans he cares most about.
    • Terry Gannon reacting to Hanyu's freeskate at the NHK Trophy 2015, aired 28 November 2015 on NBC Sports.
  • It looked like water, suspended in soup.
    • Johnny Weir commenting on Hanyu's jump at the NHK Trophy 2015, aired 28 November 2015 on NBC Sports.
  • Benvenuti sul pianeta Hanyu. Abitanti uno, LUI!
    • Translation: Welcome to planet Hanyu. Population one, HIM!
    • Source: Italian commentator Massimiliano Ambesi after Hanyu's freeskate at the Grand Prix Final 2015, aired 12 December 2015 on Eurosport Italy, as quoted on his official Facebook account on 29 September 2016. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)
  • A genius in action and it's very probable, he's going to break the world record he set two weeks ago.
    • Simon Reed reacting to Hanyu's freeskate at the Grand Prix Final 2015, aired 12 December 2015 on British Eurosport 1.
  • Figure skating is not such a high profile sport, when you think of the greats of this year: Jordan Spieth, Floyd Mayweather, Messi, Ronaldo. This guy, in his sport, is as good as they are.
    • Simon Reed after Hanyu's freeskate at the Grand Prix Final 2015, aired 12 December 2015 on British Eurosport 1.
  • And that's what makes a true champion: if you can land the jumps, when they are not quite right. That makes you extra special.
    • Christopher Howarth about Hanyu's freeskate at the Grand Prix Final 2015, aired 12 December 2015 on British Eurosport 1.

2016[edit]

  • Lane: It's like he's on a mission to be not just the best in the world but the best there has ever been.
    Browning: Too late, he already is.
    • Kurt Browning and Carol Lane commenting on Hanyu's short program at Worlds 2016, aired 30 March 2016 on CBC Sports.
  • Yuzu skates in a place that most of us can only dream about.
    • Carol Lane about Hanyu during his exhibition gala performance at Worlds 2016, aired 3 April 2016 on CBC Sports.
  • I do like that he occasionally shows us that he's human. Just throws in the odd fall here and there, because we need to be reminded, occasionally, that he is a human being.
    • Catherine Whitaker reacting to Hanyu's freeskate at the NHK Trophy 2016, aired 26 November 2016 on British Eurosport 2.
  • Definitely agile like a freshly born kitten.
    • Johnny Weir describing Hanyu's quadruple Loop jump at the NHK Trophy 2016, aired 26 November 2016 on NBC Sports.

2017[edit]

  • Very probably the best figure skate. Ever.
    • Simon Reed after Hanyu's freeskate at Worlds 2017, aired 1 April 2017 on British Eurosport 2.
  • Alors, nous sommes très fiers sur France Télévision cet après-midi de vous proposer ce chef d’œuvre absolu. Ce programme est à enregistrer dans toutes les écoles de patinage.
    • Translation: So, we are very proud on France Télévision this afternoon to present you this absolute masterpiece. This program is to be recorded in all skating schools.
    • Source: Nelson Monfort about Hanyu's freeskate at Worlds 2017, aired 1 April 2017 on France TV 2.

2018[edit]

With one delayed single Axel, one triple Axel, Yuzuru Hanyu, double gold medalist, just gave a masterclass of what figure skating actually is.
Belinda Noonan
  • That is everything you could ever want in a short program. The complete package. He balances the artistic score and the technical score like no one I have ever seen. The best ever. He has the jumps, he has those quads, he has the performance ability. It was perfection.
    • Tara Lipinsky commenting on Hanyu's short program at the Olympics 2018, aired 16 February 2018 on NBC Sports.
  • The mindset to overcome this injury, to deal with all of that pressure is what makes him a true champion.
    • Johnny Weir about Hanyu's short program at the Olympics 2018, aired 16 February 2018 on NBC Sports.
  • 他让我想起一句话。命运对勇士低语: '你无法抵御风暴。' 勇士低声回应: '我就是风暴。'
    • Translation: He reminds me of an old saying. "Fate whispers to the warrior: 'You cannot withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back: 'I am the storm.' "
    • Source: Chinese commentator Chen Ying after Hanyu's freeskate at the Winter Olympics 2018, aired 17 February 2018 on CCTV.
    • Annotation: According to Jake Remington The original author of the saying is unknown, but it's often attributed to Genghis Khan.
  • With one delayed single Axel, one triple Axel, Yuzuru Hanyu, double gold medalist, just gave a masterclass of what figure skating actually is.
    • Belinda Noonan at the exhibition gala of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, aired 25 February 2018 on the Olympic Channel. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
  • He's a two-time Olympic gold medalist, he's won the World Championships [...] He has everything. And what's all the more amazing that despite that he still [came] back and demonstrated improvement, not just sustaining his excellence but improving his excellence.
    • Mark Hanretty after Hanyu's short program at the Helsinki GP 2018, aired 3 November 2018 on British Eurosport 2.
  • I've heard that his programmes this year are hommages or testaments to some of his favourite skaters. [...] And that's interesting, because that makes you believe that – perhaps – he's a little reserved in his own estimations of himself [...] Perhaps he's not quite aware that he's everybody else's inspiration, he's everybody else's motivation to improve.
    • Source: Hanretty about Hanyu after his short program at the Helsinki GP 2018, aired 3 November 2018 on British Eurosport 2.
    • Annotation: With his two programs Otoñal and Origin Hanyu paid tribute to his figure skating idols Johnny Weir and Evgeni Plushenko.

2019[edit]

  • Watch how he plays with the music. He is a master.
    • Tracy Wilson about her student Yuzuru Hanyu during his short program at Skate Canada 2019, aired 26 October 2019 on TSN.
  • There is no one like him. No one like Yuzuru Hanyu. [...] The rockstar does it again. And whatever it cost, the GOAT – the GOAT – delivers.
    • Rod Black after Hanyu's short program at Skate Canada 2019, aired 26 October 2019 on TSN.
  • This is not a world championship, this is not the Olympics, but I've never seen anything like this. [...] The maestro, the master, Yuzuru Hanyu, has won in Canada.
    • Source: Rod Black reacting to Hanyu's freeskate at Skate Canada 2019, aired 27 October 2019 on TSN.
    • Annotation: Hanyu has won his first gold at Skate Canada with a personal best and a victory margin of almost 60 points, after finishing second three times in a row in previous years.


The following quotes are listed alphabetically, by surname.

Quotes from Hanyu's coaches and training partners[edit]

With Yuzu, we are everything, we are friends, we are team mates, at some point we have to be rivals.
Javier Fernández
For him it became about how he affected people emotionally, his ability to lift people, his ability to take people out of their troubles for a moment, and move to another place and find inspiration.
Tracy Wilson
  • He's his own mystical creature, that's for sure. [...] He also has this unmatched confidence that I think is very rare but also very prevalent in all the greats in the sport. Like that he knows he's the best and he wants everyone to know he's the best and he lives up to it.
  • With Yuzu, we are everything, we are friends, we are team mates, at some point we have to be rivals. It’s like having a wife, your wife is your friend, your wife is everything, but it depends on the time. When we are on the ice, we are competing against each other but when the competition is done, we are friends again and we work together again.
    • Javier Fernández about the special bond with his training partner Yuzuru Hanyu, as quoted in an article from Reuters, written by Pritha Sarkar, published on 24 March 2015. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
    • Annotation: In recognition of their contribution to the relations between Spain and Japan, Hanyu and Fernández received the Spain-Japan Foundation Award on 30 October 2019.
  • Yuzuru is a mystery and he will always be a mystery, because he likes it like that.
    • Fernández about Hanyu in an interview with the Olympic Channel, published 5 September 2018. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
  • I've done so many competitions and I've been in so many different atmospheres that at some point you kinda know what you have to do. [When] you skate in a competition in Japan after Yuzuru Hanyu, that teaches you a lot.
    • Fernández at the Men Final Press Conference of the European Championships 2019, published 26 January 2019 on the ISU's official Facebook account. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
  • Could he win without the big, giant tricks? Yes. But that’s not him. He’s willing to take the risk. He’s visualizing a greater win than last time. It wasn’t that magical moment you usually see at the Olympics.
    • Hanyu's coach Brian Orser, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman, published 4 January 2018. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)
    • Annotation: At his first Olympics in Sochi 2014 Hanyu had two falls in his freeskate, but still won the gold medal.
  • Never underestimate Mr Hanyu. That's for sure.
    • Brian Orser at the Olympics 2018 in the mixed-zone interview, aired 6 February 2018 in 報道ステーション (Hodo Station) on TV Asahi.
  • He instantly at that time connected with a higher purpose of what he does. Yes, it's a sport. Yes, it's about winning. But for him it became about how he affected people emotionally, his ability to lift people, his ability to take people out of their troubles for a moment, and move to another place and find inspiration.
    • Coach Tracy Wilson about her student Yuzuru Hanyu in a radio broadcast on ABC, aired 22 January 2020. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
    • Annotation: "At that time" refers to the period after the Tohoku Earthquake 2011.

Quotes from other skaters, coaches and experts[edit]

He’s got this aura, this special presence that only he has. He’s so fierce on the ice, but in the kiss and cry he’s got his Pooh. That gap is what makes him attractive.
Midori Ito
  • He’s everything. He’s the skater, he’s the jumper, but quintessentially, he’s the performer. He seems to have the superpower to take all the pressure, all the expectations and all the lights and all the cameras, and somehow he’s able to use it as a competitor.
    • Four-time world champion Kurt Browning, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman and Victor Mather, published 16 February 2018. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)
  • I think he’s beautiful; he moves like a dream.
    • Two-time Olympic champion Dick Button, as quoted in the same NYT-article linked above, written by Jeré Longman and Victor Mather, published 16 February 2018.
  • He’s got this aura, this special presence that only he has. He’s so fierce on the ice, but in the kiss and cry he’s got his Pooh. That gap is what makes him attractive.
    • World champion Midori Ito, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman, published 4 January 2018. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)
  • I certainly have seen my fair share of great skaters over the course of my life and Hanyu ranks right up at the top with the best of them. [...] There is a contrasting sweetness and innocence backstage in conversation to the "killer" who comes out to skate. I have often said, you can see it in Hanyu's eyes when he takes his opening position.
    • CBC commentator Pj Kwong about Hanyu in her article on CBC Sports, published 21 March 2019. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
  • He’s the most complete athlete in figure skating, probably ever.
    • Two-time world champion and coach Stephane Lambiel, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman, published 4 January 2018.
  • For me he's number one. He's a great skater from a different planet. [...] When he skates, he has charisma. I like his jumps, I like his choreography, I like his spins. We have other skaters, they're good jumpers for example. But their choreography is not quite good, not enough to take the audience.
    • Olympic champion and coach Evgeni Plushenko about Hanyu in an interview with the Olympic Channel, published on 5 July 2018. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
  • You're the most complete figure skater of all time. Technical ability, artistry, but above all - above all - the ability to perform when it counts the most.
    • CBC sportscaster Scott Russell interviewing Hanyu on CBC Sports, published 16 March 2020. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
  • He unzips his jacket to reveal his costume... it's like he redefines the sport of figure skating.
    • Canadian skater Roman Sadovsky about Hanyu in an interview with Skate Oakville, published 13 May 2020. (Retrieved 10 September 2020)
  • It reminds me of when Michael Jackson was in his heyday, or meeting the Pope. People see Hanyu for the first time and they become hysterical or they’re moved to tears. It’s like their lives are complete. It’s crazy.
    • Figure skating analyst Jackie Wong, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman, published 4 January 2018. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)
  • [He] looks like he wakes up from bed and goes and jumps.
    • Malaysian figure skater Julian Yee, as quoted in an article of The New York Times, written by Jeré Longman and Victor Mather, published 16 February 2018. (Retrieved 11 September 2020)

Other quotes about Hanyu[edit]

Your accomplishments deeply impressed the nation, providing bright hope to society and delivering a powerful message of restoration.
Shinzo Abe
  • Imagine being so good at something that people make it rain Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals on you.
    • Musician Pete Wentz's tweet about the "Pooh-rain" after Hanyu's freeskate at the Olympics 2018, posted on 17 February 2018. (Retrieved 17 September 2020)
  • Obsessed with #yuzuruhanyu the best figure skater ever because he is as great an artist as athlete. The Baryshnikov of the Ice.
  • seriously - just watched his exhibition skate - EXHIBITION! - and it was chilling. his relationship to the ice, to the music... it's simply inspirational.
  • 羽生結弦殿。あなたは厳しい修練と、人一倍の努力の積み重ねにより、オリンピック冬季競技大会個人種目における日本人初の連覇、フィギュアスケート男子シングル競技においても世界で66年振りとなる連覇を達成されました。この世界の歴史に残る快挙を、東日本大震災による被災、大会直前の大きな怪我という大変な困難を乗り越えて達成されたことは多くの国民に深い感動と勇気、社会に明るい夢と希望を与え、そして震災復興への力強いメッセージとなりました。
    • Subtitles: Mr. Yuzuru Hanyu. Your dedication to training, working harder than anybody else. Your achievement was the first time for a Japanese to win back to back gold medals for an individual event at the Winter Olympics. Rewriting the history by breaking the 66-year old record for men's singles figure skating while overcoming the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami desasters and recovering from serious complicated injuries before the Olympics your accomplishments deeply impressed the nation, providing bright hope to society and delivering a powerful message of restoration.
    • Source: Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's speech to Yuzuru Hanyu at the People's Honor Award ceremony, 羽生結弦選手 国民栄誉賞表彰式―平成30年7月2日, published 2 July 2018 by 首相官邸 (Prime Minister's Office).
    • Translation source: Recording of the ceremony with English subtitles, published 9 July 2018 by JAPAN Forward. (Retrieved 23 September 2020)
  • super heroes that can fly

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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