Hanyu returns to ‘Onmyoji’ soundtrack for Olympic season

Kyodo

Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu said Tuesday he will be using the soundtrack from the film “Onmyoji” (The Yin-Yang Master) for his free skate program in the 2017-2018 season, including at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Speaking to reporters in Toronto where he is currently training, Hanyu said he has long been planning to use the music from the popular 2001 Japanese movie.

It will be the second time he performs to the piece as he put his free skate routine to it throughout the 2015-2016 season when he took men’s figure skating to a new level.

In the 2015-2016 season, Hanyu broke the world free skate score record several times, skating to the Japanese-themed music where he portrayed 10th-century astronomer Abe no Seimei.

At the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona in December 2015, Hanyu received a record-shattering total of 330.43 points, 219.48 in the free and 110.95 in the short, with two of the three — total score and short program score — still standing as world records.

“I was able to perform well to that music so I knew I wanted to use it in the Olympic season. I’ve been saving it for this occasion,” Hanyu said.

Six months out from the games in South Korea, the 22-year-old has been working on his quad jumps in training. He plans to add a fifth quad to the free skate routine he put together for the world championships in Helsinki in April when earned his second world title by racking up a world-record 223.20 points for his free skate.

“The quality of composition (of my free skate program) has definitely improved compared to last season and I’m eager to create strong, attacking choreography,” said Hanyu, revealing that he plans to jump three of the five quads in the second half of the program when the scores are multiplied by a bonus factor of 1.1.

Hanyu earlier announced that he has selected Chopin’s “Ballad No. 1” for his short program, also the same music he used two seasons ago for his 2-minute, 50-second program.

Competitors are free to use the music of their choice, but it is uncommon for a skater to reuse a piece as Hanyu plans to do.

But the Japanese believes the right song can make or break a program, and these two songs will help turn his Olympic goal into reality, making him the first person in 66 years to win two consecutive gold medals in men’s singles figure skating at the Olympics.

“My goal for the season? Of course, I want to win a second gold,” Hanyu said.