Yuzuru Hanyu made history at the 2014 Winter Olympics, winning Japan’s first Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating Friday night in Sochi.
The 19-year-old fell twice during his program, but he was able to come away with the top spot when Canada’s three-time world champion Patrick Chan made three critical errors to earn silver. Entering Friday’s free skate, Hanyu held nearly a four-point lead over Chan after winning the short program Thursday and that margin proved to be the difference, as Hanyu finished five points ahead. Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten won bronze.
“I had that gold medal around my neck and I didn’t grasp it.” Chan said, via USA Today. “At the end of the day, I have two heavy medals around my neck, and they’re silver. Unfortunately it wasn’t the gold, but I’m not going to let that affect my whole career.”
The Canadians have never won a gold medal in figure skating.
Team USA’s Jason Brown, who entered Friday’s competition in sixth place, fell to ninth after his performance, while four-time U.S. champion Jason Abbott finished in 12th.
“I went out there and just performed and where I ended up is where I ended up,” Brown said, “but I’m so proud to be in that top 10.”
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