At 23 years old, Yuzuru Hanyu is the greatest Asian male figure skater of all time. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a two-time Japanese national champion and a four-time champion at the Grand Prix Final. His record-breaking performance in PyeongChang last week saw him become the first figure skater in 66 years to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. The last skater to pull that off was American legend, Dick Button.
In other words, Hanyu is as big of a bad ass on the ice as you’re going to find anywhere on the planet — as long as he’s wearing figure skates.
He was recently caught giving speed skating a try, and although he can land a quadruple lutz as if he’s been doing them since he was born, skating quickly in a circle is a skill that eludes him.
While he appears adorably amused with his own ineptitude in an objectively less difficult skating sport, it’s worth noting that Hanyu has spent the last four months recovering from an ankle injury that he suffered during a practice session prior to the Grand Prix Japan. He was off the ice for three months, finally returning to training in January, and admitted to having to use painkillers to get through the Olympics.
Hopefully his valiant attempts at a new experience in PyeongChang didn’t jeopardize his road to full recovery, because a figure skating competition with not Hanyu is not figure skating competition at all.