- Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu was shown warming up before the men’s individual short program.
- Hanyu was shown sitting on what looked like a moving bucket with wheels and moving around. He also was doing what looked like a visual exercise.
- NBC’s broadcast team had no answers for what Hanyu’s warmups were.
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu is one of the world’s best figure skaters, but his warmup routine may not be for everybody.
On Friday in Pyeongchang, before the men’s individual short program, NBC showed the 23-year-old waiting for his turn, and he was doing some warmups that NBC’s figure skating broadcasters could not figure out.
First, Hanyu was sitting on what looked like a bucket with wheels, scooting across the floor. NBC’s Terry Gannon asked, “What’s he doing here?”
Even Gannon’s partners, former Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinsky and Johnny Weir, weren’t sure.
“What do you think this does?” Lipinksy asked.
“Some sort of video game?” said Weir.
Then, Hanyu was shown appearing to do what looked like a visual exercise. A man was moving an object that was attached to a band that went around Hanyu’s head, and Hanyu had to follow the object as the man moved it.
Lipinsky wondered if it was all just to distract him from the moment. Weir called Hanyu very superstitious.
Later on, NBC went back to the footage of Hanyu’s warmup, perhaps still searching for answers. When the clip of Hanyu scooting on the object with wheels played, Gannon said, “I have no idea what this is.”
Hanyu has an Olympic gold to his name and two golds in world championships. At his peak, he’s been considered the gold standard of figure skating. This year, however, he’s battled injuries, making it tough to know if he’ll live up to his usual standards at the Olympics.
He put those fears to rest on Friday, delivering a stunning 111-point performance to take the lead in the men’s short program. Afterward, Winnie the Pooh toys rained down on him.
While no one else understood his warmup, if it works for Hanyu, that’s all that matters.
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