Japan's Hanyu wins skating gold, receives chorus of Poohs

Japan's Hanyu wins skating gold, receives chorus of Poohs
Posted at 5:34 AM, Feb 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-17 01:16:59-05

(RNN) – When Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu became the first back-to-back gold medalist in men’s individual figure skating since 1952, it meant one thing: It was going to rain Winnie the Poohs.

In hockey they throw hats onto the ice for a hat trick; when Hanyu skates, fans toss down yellow plush bears.

It’s a quirk stemming from Hanyu’s own affinity for Winnie the Pooh. The 23-year-old always brings a tissue dispenser, fitted into a Pooh doll, with him to the ice before he skates.

“I‘m not quite sure how this got started,” Hanyu said earlier at the Olympics. “Mainly I think it’s because I’ve always kept a box of tissues decorated with a stuffed Pooh at rinkside, and when I was really little I had a cap with Pooh on it. The fans just started doing it.”

Hanyu’s gold in the men’s free skate on Friday night matched a matched a feat that hadn’t been equaled in more than 60 years. American Don Button won the same event at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

Hanyu, a wildly popular heart-throb in his home country, with a score of 317.85 was 10 points better than his countryman who took silver, Shoma Uno.

"I just did my best today,” Hanyu said. “I don't know if this is the best of my skating life, but I can say from my heart that I skated my best today."

And, as had happened throughout the Winter Games, his performance was met with a chorus of Poohs.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.