Fans and people in the hometown of Japanese figure skating star Yuzuru Hanyu celebrated his marriage on Saturday, a day after he broke the news on social media.
The two-time Olympic champion has retired from competitive figure skating and turned pro but still has passionate fans around the world, including China where the news quickly became the top trending topic on social media.
“That’s a cause for celebration. I hope he will have time to relax with his family when he is away from work,” said a 46-year-old resident of Hanyu’s hometown Sendai in Japan’s northeast.
“He has given us a lot of courage. I will continue to root for him,” said Akihiko Shibuya, 63, who runs a restaurant in Ishinomaki where Hanyu once visited as part of his charity activities to support northeastern regions severely affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A 16-year-old student from China who is visiting Japan on vacation was also happy to hear the news.
“I prayed for his and his loved one’s happiness,” she said as she visited Yuzuruha Shrine in Kobe, a place well-known among Hanyu’s fans.
The Shinto shrine became popular for having a name similar to Hanyu’s first name.
According to the shrine’s priest, Masayasu Sawada, Hanyu himself visited the shrine for the first time when he was a junior skater.
“I have watched him grow as a skater. I would be delighted if he and his wife visit here together one day,” Sawada said.
Hanyu was the first figure skater not from Europe or the United States to win gold in the men’s singles competition at the Olympics when he got his first title at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014.
In 2018, he achieved a historic repeat at the Pyeongchang Games, becoming the first skater to successfully defend his gold medal in the event since American Dick Button, 66 years earlier. Hanyu became the youngest recipient of the Japanese government’s People’s Honor Award at age 23 that year.
He did not provide details of his partner in his post late Friday on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter.
Source : Japan Today