Drive to push limits of greatness makes Hanyu my icenetwork Person of Year

  An estimated 108,000 people turned out to salute Yuzuru Hanyu at a parade in his hometown of Sendai, Japan.  (Getty Images)

An estimated 108,000 people turned out to salute Yuzuru Hanyu at a parade in his hometown of Sendai, Japan.  (Getty Images)

Yuzuru Hanyu has never been satisfied with the idea of doing just enough to win.

The Japanese star has always longed to be on the cutting edge of figure skating, to be one of the leaders in the quadruple jump revolution that swept the sport during the four years that followed his first Olympic gold medal in 2014.

That relentless commitment to challenging himself would allow Hanyu to make jump history first in early autumn 2016, when he became the first skater to land a quad loop in competition, and then again the next spring, when he won his second world title by adding a fourth quad -- the loop -- to his free skate at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships.

And it was that same unrelenting drive that nearly ended his hopes for a landmark Olympic achievement in 2018.

That made Hanyu's February triumph at the Gangneung Ice Arena both melodramatic and brilliant. It was as much a testament to his competitive will as it was to the skating mastery -- both athletic and artistic -- with which he has made a strong case to be called the greatest men's singles skater of all time.

In becoming a man for the ages by winning a second straight Olympic title, Hanyu had to overcome a considerable setback to be the man for this season. That makes him my choice for icenetwork Person of the Year.

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