Yuzuru Hanyu Instructions the Stage. Nathan Chen Falls Off It.

Yuzuru Hanyu Instructions the Stage. Nathan Chen Falls Off It.

He did on Friday, performing exquisitely with two quadruple jumps and a triple axel, versatile spins and complicated footwork. He acquired a 10 p.c bonus for the axel and a quad toe-triple toe mixture soar, which had been performed within the second half of his routine, when skaters’ legs start to tire.

The one factor lacking for Hanyu at rinkside was his trademark Winnie the Pooh doll, which serves as a tissue field and a totem of excellent luck with its smiling, uncritical gaze. The Disney character, created by A.A. Milne, can be a violation of Olympic branding and sponsorship guidelines.

However Hanyu did pat a Pooh doll on the top in his room for luck earlier than the competitors. (“I’m certain he was cheering for me,” he mentioned.) And a handful of followers wore Winnie the Pooh costumes within the stands in the course of the brief program. As standard, a hail of Pooh dolls rained onto the ice after Hanyu carried out. (They’re collected and donated to charities.)

However this competitors is much from completed. To win one other gold medal, and to stake his declare as maybe the best skater of all time, Hanyu should nonetheless exhibit that he has the stamina and a enough amount and number of quadruple jumps to persevere by 4 and a half minutes of a free skate.

He fell twice throughout his lengthy program on the 2014 Winter Video games in Sochi, Russia, and though Hanyu gained, it was a messy night time for a variety of high skaters. This time, Hanyu has mentioned, it is very important be almost flawless, not merely a victor.

“Whoever goes to win, it must be an over-the-moon efficiency,” Orser, the coach, mentioned. “We didn’t have that in Sochi. It might be good to see that from a couple of guys, to form of increase the roof.”

Right here’s how the boys’s determine skating brief program unfolded:


Vincent Zhou of the US.

Credit score
Chang W. Lee/The New York Occasions

Vincent Zhou Takes Early Lead

The primary American to take the ice is Vincent Zhou, 17. Snowboarding to “Chasing Automobiles,” by Snow Patrol, he nails his quad Lutz-triple toe however stumbles on the touchdown of a quad flip. His rating of 84.53 places him within the lead of the primary three skaters.

That quad Lutz by Zhou was the primary ever landed in Winter Olympics historical past. In making historical past, he benefited from going early We should always get a number of extra quad Lutzes in the course of the competitors.

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