Last month, the figure skating world was shocked by the sudden retirement of Yuzuru Hanyu, arguably one of the greatest figure skaters of all time, from competition. However, he isn’t retreating from the spotlight completely and will continue to pursue his own personal goals such as the quad axel through performances.
Now the 27-year-old seems to settling into this new phase in his life by starting his own YouTube channel “HANYU YUZURU.” This is certainly a big leap for the athlete who has until this point shunned all social media, and he naturally opened with a video titled “Hajimemashite” (“Nice to meet you”).
The simple 70-second greeting featured Hanyu explaining his plan to chronicle his pursuit of ideal figure skating through the video sharing platform more directly with his fans. He closed by saying, “I don’t know if I can live up to everyone’s expectations, but I will continue to do my best in skating, and I hope I can provide everyone who watches with some sense of meaningful emotion.”
He’s certainly the class act we all know and admire, but if I had one piece of advice, it’d be for him to hire a team of translators to make subtitles for the plethora of countries where his legions of fans reside. Within a day of his channel’s launch on August 7, Hanyu racked up well over 150,000 subscribers and as of this writing that number has shot up to over half a million. His Hajimemashite video also received about 64,000 comments in just about every language imaginable, such as the following:
“Thanks from Mexico! You gave us such great times and conveyed so many feelings so far. We can’t ask for any more. Please stay healthy and happy.”
“Thank you for opening this channel! Good luck and have fun. Greetings from Poland.”
“Brazilian fans send you lots of love! I’m happy you made this channel, and it will be nice to see your videos. Please take care!”
“Thank you, Yuzuru, for the light, beauty, and kindness that you carry in your art, and for the incredible emotions that it evokes! From Moldova with love.”
“Hanyu-san, thank you for opening a YouTube channel and sharing your performances with us. Wish you success in your upcoming journey and remember to take care of your health. Vietnam always supports you!”
“Thank you for making your last competition in my hometown of Beijing, so we can know how excellent you are and support you for the rest of your life. Stay safe and I hope your ankle recovers soon.”
“I stumbled upon a video of you skating on YouTube by chance. It was something different from skating. It was fascinating. You are both an excellent athlete and a great artist. I watch all your performances, sometimes multiple times a day. I am very happy to follow and support you and to be a fanyu. Love from Turkey.”
It really does just go on and on from there, and it’s really a remarkable thing to see such a sudden and massive outpouring of love for a single person from the entire world, and if Hanyu is even half as sensitive as his fans describe him to be, “overwhelmed” probably wouldn’t do justice to describe how he’s feeling.
Hopefully, this will motivate him to come out with some top notch content in future videos.
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