Monday , July 02, 2018 - 7:30 AM
(c) 2018, Japan News-Yomiuri.
The Japanese government on Monday gave the People’s Honor Award to two-time Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presenting Hanyu with a certificate and a plaque at the Prime Minister’s Office on the day.
Abe praised Hanyu’s accomplishments, saying, “His historical achievements, realized by overcoming the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the serious injury he suffered right before the Olympics, have deeply moved us and given us courage.”
After the ceremony, Hanyu told reporters, “I want to move forward, together with this award and people’s expectations of me.”
Hanyu, now 23, won the men’s gold medal at two consecutive Olympics the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea. It was the first time in 66 years anyone had achieved this feat in men’s figure skating.
The Japanese public was also deeply moved by Hanyu overcoming an injury to his right ankle.
Hanyu is the 26th individual to receive the award since it was established in 1977. He is also the youngest recipient, and the first figure skater.
A native of Sendai, Hanyu started skating when he was 4 years old. He became the first Japanese man to win a gold medal in Olympic figure skating at the Sochi Games, when he was 19.
In November last year, he strained a ligament in his right ankle, which put his participation in the Pyeongchang Games in danger. However, he mounted a remarkable comeback at the Games, landing quadruple jumps and earning wide praise in Japan and around the world.
Hanyu was training at a skating rink in Sendai when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011. He has actively worked to support disaster victims, including performing in ice shows to contribute to reconstruction.
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