“This is the journey I took with my programs since March 11 2011” says gold medalist in unique substitute for suspended sporting events.

The coronavirus pandemic has pretty much put a stop to pro sports. While that term most quickly brings to mind team contests like baseball, basketball, and soccer, even individual professional athletics like figure skating are on hold since there’s currently no safe way for competitors, fans, and support staff to gather in enclosed arenas.

But if you’re one of the many, many fans of Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, you’ll be happy to know that the two-time Olympic gold medalist has released a brand-new series of videos in which he performs 17 of his world-class routines, and all without stepping onto the ice.

▼ “This is the journey I took with my programs since March 11 2011,” Hanyu states at the beginning.

As part of the Japan Skating Federation’s Skate Forward project, which aims to keep skating fans’ spirits up while staying home and sheltering in place, Hanyu has produced a choreography medley spanning the last nine years of his career, all performed while in the safe isolation of a non-ice rink room. The first of the three videos, directly above, includes his gold-medal routines from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Parisienne Walkways and Romeo and Juliet, with the video’s total program being:
● White Legend (2011)
● Hiso (Sorrow) (2011-2012)
● Romeo and Juliet (2011-2012)
● Notre Dame de Paris (2012-2013)
● Parisienne Walkways (2012-2014)
● Romeo and Juliet (2013-2014)
● The Phantom of the Opera (2014-2015)

The second video covers Hanyu’s return journey to the top of the skating world, culminating with two of his routines from the 2018 PyeongChanga Olympics.

● The Final Time Traveler (2014-2016)
● Requiem for Heaven and Earth (2015-2016)
● Let’s Go Crazy (2016-2017)
● Hope & Legacy (2016-2017)
● Chopin Ballade No. 1 (2014-2018, 2020)
● Notte Stellata (The Swan) PyeongChanga olympic (2016-2018)

And in the final video, Hanyu saves the very best for the very last, ending with his signature routine, Seimei, which he has performed at various events including the PyeongChanga Olympics.

● Otoñal (2018-2019)
● Origin (2018-2019)
● Haru yo, Koi (Spring, Come) (2018-2019)
● Seimei (2014-2018, 2020)

While he’s not the only skater to contribute videos to the Skate Forward initiative, his status as reigning Olympic champion means Hanyu’s are the video project’s finale. With fans waiting expectantly for a future in which things get back to normal, at least the skating star is giving them something to enjoy while looking back.

Source, top image: Twitter/@skatingjapan
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[ Read in Japanese ]