The men’s figure skating short program at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics on Feb. 15 left the world with a lot to talk about. Adam Rippon skated a nearly perfect program that was as entertaining as it was clean, and Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu stole the show with his flawlessly gorgeous performance, which earned him 111.68 points and the first-place slot (for now, anyway).
Yuzuru is on the hunt for gold again. He took home the first-place prize in the 2014 Olympics, and if he nails tonight’s free skate program, there’s no question he’ll be standing triumphantly on that podium once again. But winning gold at this Olympics will be more than just winning gold (although that’s pretty damn amazing in and of itself) — if Yuzuru wins first place, he’ll be the first men’s figure skater to win back-to-back gold medals since 1952!
Getting to this Olympics has been anything but easy for Yuzuru. On Nov. 9, 2017, he suffered serious ligament damage on his right ankle while rehearsing a quad lutz, the most difficult jump that exists in programs today. This took him out of training for two whole months, and this is the first time he’s competed since October of last year.
Tonight for the free skate, he’ll be skating to the soundtrack of the film Onmyoji (The Yin-Yang Master). He performed this same routine in the 2015-2016 season, and it brought him great success. The program lasts 4 minutes 40 seconds, and it includes some quadruple jumps you won’t want to miss. Watch the full program above, which he performed at the 2015 Grand Prix Final.
Tune in to NBC tonight to see the performance live!