Yuzuru Hanyu first competed nationally as a novice skater at the '2004 Japan Novice Championships' in the Novice B category, in which he won the gold medal. During this time, he began training under Nanami Abe, but could not practice enough because his home rink in Sendai got closed due to financial issues.
Winning the bronze medal at the '2006 Japan Novice Championships' in the Novice A category, allowed him to compete at the '2006–07 Japan Junior Championships', in which he finished 7th. After his home rink reopened in 2007, he won gold medal at the '2007 Japan Novice Championships' in the Novice A category, followed by a bronze medal in the '2007–08 Japan Junior Championships'.
He made his junior level international debut at the '2008–09 ISU Junior Grand Prix' event, where he finished fifth overall with 6th and 4th rank in short program and free skating, respectively. Later that season, he became the youngest male skater to win 'Japan Junior Championship' (age 13), and qualified for the senior level at the '2008–09 Japan Championships', which he finished 8th.
During the 2009–10 season, he topped the 'Junior Grand Prix Final' with wins at both events and also won the 'Japan Junior Championships'. He was again invited to compete on the senior level at the 'Japan Championships' and won the 'Junior Grand Prix Final' with a new personal best score, followed by '2010 World Junior Championships' win.
Moving up to the senior level during the 2010–11 season, he participated in the '2010 NHK Trophy', which he finished fourth overall, and the '2010 Cup of Russia', which he finished seventh. After finishing fourth at the '2010–11 Japan Championships', he was selected to compete at the '2011 Four Continents Championships', where he achieved a new personal best score and earned a silver medal.
Starting the 2011–12 season with a win at the 'Nebelhorn Trophy', Yuzuru Hanyu was assigned to the '2011 Cup of China' and the '2011 Rostelecom Cup' for the '2011–12 Grand Prix' series. With 4th and 1st position in the two events, he qualified for his first senior 'Grand Prix Final', which he finished fourth, followed by a bronze medal in his senior 'World Championship' debut.
He began training under Canadian coach Brian Orser in April 2012, and went on to win gold at the '2012 Finlandia Trophy', silver at the '2012 Skate America', and gold at the '2012 NHK Trophy'. He subsequently finished second at the 'Grand Prix Final' and claimed his first national title at the 'Japan Championships', followed by silver at the '2013 Four Continents Championships' and 4th rank in '2013 World Championships'
He next won gold at the '2013 Finlandia Trophy', and with two silvers at the '2013 Skate Canada International' and '2013 Trophée Éric Bompard', earned a spot in the 'Grand Prix Final', which he won.
At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, he won the first Olympic gold medal for Japan in men's figure skating event. He ended the year with a victory at the 2014 World Figure Skating Championship in Saitama, Japan.
Continue Reading Below
Despite suffering from injury and illness throughout the 2014-15 season, he successfully defended his Grand Prix Final title and also secured a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships. That season, he won his third consecutive Japan National Championships title and participating at the '2015 World Team Trophy' for the first time, helped Team Japan win the bronze medal.
At the 2015 NHK Trophy, he set the short program world record score of 106.33 and received 216.07 points in the free skating to reach a combined total of 322.40, breaking both the world records. He clenched his third consecutive Grand Prix Final by breaking his short program record with 110.95 points and his free skating record with 219.48 points, and set a new world record of 330.43 combined total.
He won his fourth consecutive Japan Championships title during the 2015–16 season and despite sustaining an injury that kept him out for two months, finished the 2016 World Championships second.
In the 2016-17 season, he defended his Grand Prix Final title and reclaimed his World Championships title, and in the process became the first skater in history to land a quadruple loop.
He had an injury-ridden season in the 2017–18 which kept him off the ice for two months, and could only participate in three events that season. However, at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, he successfully defended his Olympic title, a feat that had not been achieved since Dick Button's back-to-back titles in 1948 and 1952.
Personal Life & Legacy
As a victim of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, Yuzuru Hanyu actively supports various campaigns to help people affected by earthquake. He has donated proceedings from his two-part autobiography, 'Blue Flames' and 'Blue Flames II' to reconstruct the Sendai ice rink.
Along with fellow Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi, he was the ambassador for the '2014 Sochi Winter Olympics' campaign.
His on-screen debut was as samurai lord Date Shigemura, in the 2016 movie 'The Magnificent Nine'.