TOKYO (AP) — Japan celebrated Yuzuru Hanyu's historic win in men's figure skating at the break of dawn Saturday, rejoicing in the country's first-ever gold medal in the Olympic event.
It was 4 a.m. in Japan when the 19-year-old native of Sendai beat out Patrick Chan of Canada to win the gold. With a rare snowfall blanketing the city, most Tokyoites stayed home to watch the moment live on television.
The last time Japan won gold at the Winter Olympics was eight years ago when Shizuka Arakawa took top honors in women's figure skating in Turin.
Hanyu's gold was a huge relief for Japan, a country that is constantly vying with its Asian rivals China and South Korea for supremacy at the winter games.