Japanese figure skating icon Yuzuru Hanyu thanked fans and vowed to keep performing on the ice as he received a flood of congratulatory messages following his marriage announcement Friday.
The two-time Olympic champion, who retired from competition and became a professional exhibition skater in July 2022, made his announcement at 11:11 p.m. on Friday, believed to be an auspicious day in Japan in this year's calendar.
"The strength I've drawn from everyone's support, expectations and attention cannot be measured. I really thank you," the 28-year-old wrote.
"Together with everyone who has been supporting me, and with figure skating, I will continue to give my all and live the rest of my life facing forward."
The news of his marriage drew reactions from home and abroad. The official Japanese account of the International Olympic Committee wrote, "Congratulations Mr. Yuzuru Hanyu," accompanied by a floral emoji.
Fellow skaters and prominent figures in Japan also congratulated Hanyu, including Rika Kihira, the women's Grand Prix final winner in December 2018, men's 2010 Vancouver Olympian Nobunari Oda and astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Overseas, the Russian sports newspaper Sovetsky Sport quickly reported the news about the 2014 and 2018 Olympic gold medalist in its online edition.
Hanyu is highly recognized in Russia after he won his first Olympic title in Sochi, where he became the first figure skater from outside Europe or the United States to be crowned men's singles champion at the Winter Games.
Russian sports channel Match TV also reported the news, citing Hanyu's social media post and his past records from various competitions.
Hanyu did not provide details of his partner in his post on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter.
The news also became the top trending topic on popular Chinese social network Weibo.