Japan's figure skating superstar Yuzuru Hanyu bid farewell to the Beijing Olympics at the exhibition gala on Sunday, undecided over competing at March's world championships in Montpellier, France.
"There are things I've yet to take a clear stand upon, and that includes my future. I will take everything into consideration in my decision about the worlds," he said after the exhibition.
The 27-year-old missed winning a third straight Olympic gold, coming fourth in the men's event, crucially under-rotating his short program-opening quad salchow due to a hole on the Capital Indoor Stadium rink.
In his free skate, Hanyu wrote his name into the history books by becoming the first to have a quad axel attempt officially recorded as such.
The under-rotated jump came a day after he sprained his ankle during practice. Hanyu revealed that he would have withdrawn had it not been the Olympics.
Hanyu took six doses of painkillers ahead of his emotional exhibition, and smiled nonstop afterward. It was no consolation for surrendering his Olympic throne but Hanyu said he relished, having left everything he had on the ice on the final day of the Beijing Olympics.
"I'm thankful to everyone because I've been able to skate (throughout my career) with everyone choosing to watch me skate, which then gives meaning to my performance," he said after his performance to a Yumi Matsutoya tune.
"I've packed lots of stuff in there and can't describe it all...(but) I wanted to do everything I could on this Olympic stage, aware of the attention it gets from everyone. It really was a happy moment."
Hanyu said he will be taking a break after the games "to give the ankle a proper rest."
The Miyagi Prefecture native was philosophical in assessing the meaning of his third Olympics. He admitted frustration with his misfortunes, but also found positives from being on the losing end.
"I was made to think deeply on lots of things. There were moments in my career where effort just wasn't enough," he said. "People might have the images of me being successful from winning in Sochi and Pyeongchang, but I have also hit rock bottom many times."
"Having become an adult, I've realized that life isn't all about being rewarded and I'm happy with this present, in which I wasn't rewarded. Lots of unreasonable things happen but I'll be trying my best to be as positive as I can."