The Stuffed Animals Given to Olympic Figure Skaters, Explained

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu competes in the men's single skating short program of the figure skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 16 2018

"I can find one word and that is happy", the 23-year-old, who also became the 1,000th gold medal victor in the history of Winter Olympics, added. But there are still things I want to do in skating.

Hanyu said, "I have achieved what I set out to do and I have no intention of retiring".

Hanyu has already set his sights on his next goal - the quadruple axel, a jump so technically hard, since it requires four and a half mid-air rotations, that no skater has yet managed to execute it. Kuzmina has equalled for the most gold medals in Summer and Winter Games representing Slovakia, after she clocked a match-best 35 minutes and 23 seconds with just one penalty in shooting.

I want to do one, because nobody else has.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu made his Olympic debut on Thursday, scoring the second highest score in Olympic figure skating history.

Hanyu discussed his reliance on axels, saying, "The jump that has been a staple for me in critical moments has been the triple axel". I've probably put more time, practice and energy into it than to any other jump.

His immediate priority, however, is healing an ankle he damaged in November during a practice fall that forced him into an eleventh-hour withdrawal from the NHK Trophy and then an extended hiatus from competitive action.

Surely when you're watching the Olympics - and particularly the figure skating competitions - a few questions are going through your head: How do they spin so fast without getting dizzy?

Now, wherever he skates, Hanyu's followers pepper him with Pooh bears after his routine, with event staff on hand to clear them off the ice.

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Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got a little carried away. "I will work hard through the next four years to stand on the podium at the next Olympics in Beijing", the 20-year-old added.

Millions of tweets were posted within an hour of his win.

Speaking to the Japan Times, gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu explained that he, like many of his peers, donate the stuffed animals that are given to them during the games.

"Just happy. I can't say anymore, just happy", Hanyu said through his ever-present smile. "Even though it was not a ideal performance today, it was a really good one".

Oh God, don't even...

Kodaira said, "There were times when I had not thought about winning gold, but still I feel like I've been rewarded".

Nearly instantly after he'd finished his routine, dozens of stuffed Winnie the Pooh bears rained down on the ice from applauding fans.

A series of physical issues in the four years since his Sochi triumph, including several sprains, surgery and a succession of illnesses on top of the asthma he has had since a child, toughened him up. "I want to finish first and I have to figure out a way to get there".

"For me, it was not close to ideal but I have been practicing a lot and I was able to put that practice into action, and so in that sense I am happier more than disappointed".

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