Is Yuzuru Hanyu gay? He is yet to publicize his sexuality

Yuzuru Hanyu failed to win an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal, but he’s already cemented his place among figure skating greats. Hanyu looked exhausted after his final performance; it might be a while before the 27-year-old returns to the rink. The world championships will take place in late March 2022, and it’s unlikely that Hanyu will compete. 

“I need to get the ankle right which really held up for me,” Hanyu said. “I need to rest my body, think about a lot of things and then make decisions.” 

The perception that all figure skaters are gay has waned in recent years, with only a few people holding on to that belief. 

Yuzuru Hanyu is yet to address his sexuality

Yuzuru Hanyu is yet to publicize his sexuality. He’s happy to discuss sports but never speaks about his personal life. 

For a long while, people generally assumed that male figure skaters were gay. The skaters’ attires, love for makeup, and agility on ice fueled that wrong perception. 

“Even if you’re a figure skater and you’re not gay, you’re called gay all the time or you’re made fun of for being a figure skater,” Johnny Weir, a former gay U.S. Olympian, told Grazia. “I’ve been in the sport long enough and know enough straight people in the sport that it’s very grating on your psyche to constantly be told something that you’re not and made fun of for something that you aren’t.”

The perception affects skaters and has led to the loss of life: Jamie Hubley, an openly gay Canadian figure skater, committed suicide due to insistent abuse over his sexuality. 

Thankfully, the false notion is less prevalent now than several years ago. 

Gay representation in figure skating has increased since Yuzuru started competing

When Yuzuru competed in his first Olympic games in 2014, the competition featured no out, gay male skaters. In 2022, there were eight out, gay male skaters, a sign of genuine progress. 

The world has become more accepting of LGBTQ+ athletes, making it easier for them to publicize their sexualities. Furthermore, there’s a financial incentive in coming out. Canadian coach Chad Conley told OutSports:

“What is easier than it was even 15 years ago is that skaters who are open about their sexual orientation are now able to get postseason contracts with ‘Stars on Ice’ and more commercial sponsorships. This is considered a recent evolution.”

LGBTQ+ representation faces one major hurdle, however: Russia. Coaches from the traditionally homophobic country rarely hide their displeasure with LGBTQ+ athletes. 

Alexander Vedenin, a former international judge, described Guillaume Cizeron’s performances as cold because the athlete is gay. “Don’t let ignorant people tell you how much of a man or a woman you are,” Cizeron responded via Instagram

Coach Conley believes that governing bodies should impose sanctions on characters like Alexander. “Until proper sanctions are put in place when comments from regulated officials — coaches and judges — make disrespectful comments, then our sport will not be completely safe,” Conley said. 

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