Hidden fans emerge from the crowd… The “Hanyu frenzy” that took place behind the scenes of the game. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hidden fans emerge from the crowd… The “Hanyu frenzy” that took place behind the scenes of the game.

Both those who report and those who crack down are "Hanyu fans

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Even the Olympic staff was leaning forward to see Hanyu, if only a little.

The men’s single figure skating free practice is about to start. For the first time in the Olympics, Yuzuru Hanyu (27) will not be in first place in the free skate, how will he perform? The world’s attention is on him.

His short program on February 8 was a big “shock”. However, behind the scenes, there was an uproar that could be called “Hanyu madness.

Hanyu arrived in Beijing on February 6. On the following day, February 7, he had his first practice at the sub-rink of the Capital Gymnasium. A reporter from a sports newspaper said, “A little while before that, we started to hear that Hanyu was going to compete on the 7th.

A reporter from a sports paper said, “A little before that, we had been told that Hanyu would have his first practice on the 7th. There were reports that he was going to have his first practice on the 7th, and that he was going to be interviewed afterwards. Naturally, there was a rush of media from Japan and other countries to cover the practice.

On that day, a figure team competition was being held at the main rink of the Capital Gymnasium. The Rikuryu pair of Rirai Miura, 20, and Ryuichi Kihara, 29, and Kaori Sakamoto, 21, were competing for their first medal.

Many of the Japanese press tried to get to the sub-rink after the Rikuryu and Sakamoto pairs, who were competing in the team event, had finished. The main rink and the sub-rink are on the same site, and it only takes a couple of minutes to walk there. However, due to infection control measures, transportation between the competition venues is currently limited to special buses for the Beijing Olympics. Even if the distance is only a few minutes, you have to take a bus. That’s where the traffic jam occurred.” (Ibid.)

A bus used to transport people between the main rink and the sub rink, which can only carry nine people, causing a huge traffic jam.

The bus was a small, nine-seater, “tuk-tuk” like vehicle. The bus was small, like a tuk-tuk, and there was a long line of reporters in front of the bus stop.

Some of the media had entered the sub-rink almost four hours before the practice, anticipating the heavy traffic. Some of the media had entered the sub-rink almost four hours before the practice, and the venue imposed an entrance restriction before the practice started. Many of the media who went to the rink after the interview with Sakamoto and others were not allowed to enter the sub-rink, and they had to repeatedly argue with the staff.

There was another dispute inside the rink. Even though the entrance was restricted, the small sub-rink was crowded with nearly 100 reporters. As a result, the press area was crowded with people. A reporter from a national newspaper said.

The coverage space was quite ‘dense’. I thought it was meaningless to have taken measures to prevent infection. In addition, some of the female crew members of the foreign media who came to cover the event were almost ‘mere Hanyu fans.

Despite the fact that the space for reporters to cover the event was a no-go area, when Hanyu appeared on stage, they tried to take videos with their smartphones. This caused the onsite staff to stop them several times,” she said.

The heat in the sub-rink, however, did not subside at all. But the excitement in the sub-rink never subsided, because there were also Hanyu fans on the “cracking down” side.

It seems that there were quite a few ‘secret Hanyu fans’ among the Chinese female staff on site, and they cried out whenever they saw Hanyu. There was even a female staff member who pushed the media out of the way to get a better view. However, when Hanyu was practicing in the main rink before the SP on the 8th, some Chinese female staff members were secretly filming the scene.

Depending on the result of the free skate, there is a possibility that more madness will ensue.

  • Photo Japan Magazine Association (Hanyu)

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