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Star figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu practices in public for 1st time since turning pro

Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu enters an ice rink for his first public practice since turning pro, in Sendai on Aug. 10, 2022. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)=Click/tap photo for more images.

SENDAI -- Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu practiced in public on Aug. 10 for the first time since turning pro, taking to the ice at a rink in his home city of Sendai.

    The 27-year-old, who won back-to-back gold medals at the 2014 Sochi and 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, spent about an hour at Ice Rink Sendai in the city's Izumi Ward. He used the first half to skate to J-pop music while humming the melodies. He then danced to tunes he had used in his past free skate programs and exhibitions, including "Hope and Legacy," "Ten to Chi to" (heaven and earth) and "Hana ni Nare" (become flowers), and executed several quadruple jumps.

    Toward the end, Hanyu repeated "Seimei" (life) -- one of his signature programs -- three times until he could pull off every element he performed at the Pyeongchang Games without a mistake.

    Letting out a cry or exclamation every time he made an error, Hanyu seemed unchanged from his competition days.

    Hanyu announced at a July 19 news conference in Tokyo that he would retire from competitions and turn pro, performing primarily in ice shows. He launched an official YouTube channel on Aug. 7, and his Aug. 10 practice was livestreamed.

    (Japanese original by Hitoshi Kurasawa, Sports News Department)

    In Photos: Yuzuru Hanyu at first public practice as pro figure skater

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