Hanyu Yuzuru does not rule out return to Olympic Games

"There is a part of me that does want to skate here again", says the two-time Olympic champion who also hit the ice for first time since Thursday's free skate.

By Shintaro Kano
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Hanyu Yuzuru left the door open for a potential fourth Winter Olympic appearance at Milano Cortina 2026 when he spoke to the media on Monday (14 February).

"If you ask me whether these were my last Games, I don't know", Hanyu said with a smile during a press conference at Beijing 2022 that was televised live nationally in Japan.

"The Olympics is a special place, one of a kind. It's a competition, a challenge, that you want to take on even if you're hurt.

"There's no other place like that for a figure skater. There is a part of me that does want to skate here again."

The two-time gold medallist spoke for the first time since Thursday, when he finished fourth in the men's singles following the free skate.

He also practised for the first time since, during which the Japanese star did not try the quadruple Axel.

There was standing room only for Hanyu Yuzuru's press conference on Monday.
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Hanyu detailed the injury to his right ankle, which he said he sprained - again - in practice the day before the free, while crash-landing on the quad Axel.

"The sprain was worse than I initially thought. Any other competition and I would have definitely pulled out", he said.

"The doctor told me I need to rest it for 10 days. It's that bad. It hurt so badly during morning practice the day of competition that I even thought about pulling out.

"I was given a painkilling shot about 10 minutes before warm-up and decided to compete".

Hanyu's participation in the gala on Sunday will likely depend on the state of his ankle. The 27-year-old said he wasn't sure if he would continue to pursue the quad Axel, which he under-rotated and fell on in the free.

"I haven't come to a conclusion. Personally, the Axel was as good as it gets for me. I think I've reached the pinnacle with it".

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