Daisuke Takahashi, the first Japanese men’s figure skater to win an Olympic medal and a World Championship in 2010, retired Tuesday.
“I’ve decided to retire so that I can take the next step in my career,” Takahashi said, according to The Associated Press. “It was a quick decision, but I didn’t want to fuss about it for too long.”
Takahashi, 28, skated in three Olympics, winning one medal, a bronze in 2010 behind Evan Lysacek and Yevgeny Plushenko in Vancouver. He won the World Championship one month later, with Lysacek and Plushenko not in the field.
Takahashi won two other World Championships silver medals and finished eighth or better at every Worlds and Olympics he skated at from 2006 through the Sochi Winter Games, where he finished sixth.
He helped usher in the current deep crop of Japanese men’s skaters, including Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.
“I asked him for advice and he has helped me many times,” Hanyu said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse. “As a skater … he will always be someone I look up to.”