Yuzuru Hanyu may have finally departed the competitive figure skating arena after winning every major accolade in a glittering career, but the 27-year-old supernova has promised no let-up in his pursuit of perfection.

Keen to avoid the word "retire," Hanyu announced Tuesday at a packed news conference that he had decided to no longer compete, the two-time Olympic and world champion saying he was now looking forward to a new beginning.

Combined photo shows various facial expressions by two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu during a press conference in Tokyo on July 19, 2022. The 27-year-old announced his retirement from competition. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"I don't like the word 'retire.' For me this is not an ending, but a beginning," said Hanyu. "I'm not the slightest bit sad. I want to create opportunities and ways for people to see me skate, not just on the competitive stage."

"I hope my fans will continue to have high expectations of me. I'm not sitting here now saying 'thank you very much (for everything).' This is not retirement or anything of the sort."

Hanyu's declaration of intent to keep pushing the envelope in exhibitions comes as no surprise, given the worldwide acclaim he achieved despite a career ravaged by injuries.

The Sendai native famously skated on at the Cup of China in 2014 and won the silver medal after a sickening collision in the warm-up for the free skate with China's Yan Han. The accidental clash left him needing stitches in his jaw and staples to close wounds in his head.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan is assisted in standing up after a collision with Chinese skater Yan Han during practice ahead of the men's free skate at the Cup of China in Shanghai on Nov. 8, 2014. Hanyu performed with a bandage wrapped around his head and managed the silver medal behind Russian Maxim Kovtun. (Kyodo)

The odds once again looked to be stacked against Hanyu as he attempted to defend his Olympic title in South Korea in 2018.

Hanyu faced a race against the clock after suffering ligament damage to his right ankle just three months before the start of the games in Pyeongchang.

Japanese figure skating superstar Yuzuru Hanyu reacts after finishing the men's free skate in this file photo taken in Gangneung, South Korea on Feb. 17, 2018 at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. (Kyodo) 

Hanyu, in the words of his coach at the time Brian Orser, sweated "blood and tears" to be ready for Pyeongchang and he triumphed to become the first skater to defend his title in 66 years.

"Skating and myself are one and the same thing," said Hanyu. "I have come this far because I have kept pushing myself to achieve higher levels in terms of (skating) difficulty."

"Every time you break through a wall there is another one standing there," he once said. "But it's human nature to keep wanting to overcome them. It is human desire, I think."

The winner of four straight Grand Prix Finals from 2013 and a six-time national champion, Hanyu withdrew from March's world championships having failed to recover from an ankle sprain sustained at the Beijing Olympics, where he finished fourth.

In the Chinese capital he narrowly missed becoming the first athlete to land a quad axel in competition during his free skate, falling on his attempt at the four-and-a-half-rotation jump.

However, the quad axel attempt was still recognized by judges as the closest yet to a success in competition.

Composite photo taken Feb. 10, 2022, shows Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan attempting a quadruple axel during the men's figure skating free skate at the Beijing Winter Olympics at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"I want to keep going for it," said Hanyu. "I'd absolutely love to nail the quad axel and share it with everyone."

Hanyu has drawn fans from both the sporting and pop cultural worlds, but he seemed a little bemused when asked his thoughts on his crossover appeal at Tuesday's press conference.

"I'm not an entertainer or pop idol or any of those things," he said.

"As an athlete I'd like to keep aspiring to have people think what we do is cool and show people their hopes and dreams."

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