Yuzuru Hanyu performing without skates attracts 1 million views

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Videos of Yuzuru Hanyu performing choreography highlights of his figure skating programs during the coronavirus pandemic — off the ice, without skates — generated more than one million combined views on Twitter in the last week.

“This is the journey I took with my program since March 11, 2011,” Hanyu said in a Japan Skating Federation tweet, according to a translation.

Three videos showed Hanyu performing, with his trademark grace, in an all-black, zip-up jacket in front of a single still camera in a room with bare walls. They followed a chronological journey from 2011, after his first senior season, through his most recent programs.

The March 11 date is significant — when an earthquake and tsunami hit his home of Sendai.

“I was on the ice at my home rink. I could not do anything – just try to stay on my feet. As soon as the big quake stopped, I ran out of the building in my skating boots,” Hanyu said in 2011, according to Goldenskate.com, adding that he spent three days at an evacuation center. “I had no time to put on the blade covers, so my blades were damaged. I was terrified.”

The first program reference in last week’s videos was to “White Legend,” which Hanyu also reportedly used at a charity fundraiser show one month after the earthquake and tsunami.

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