The end of an era: Daisuke Takahashi retired from competitive skating

For the figure skating fans all around the world, October 14th will be the day Daisuke Takahashi decided to say farewell to competitive skating. In a press conference held in Kurashiki on Tuesday, the first Japanese male figure skater to get an Olympic medal, to become the World champion and to win the ISU Grand Prix Final said, simply and beautifully, that he needed to retire in order to move on.

by Florentina Tone

A happy, serene and proud Daisuke Takahashi in Torino, at the 2010 Worlds; he had just won the gold - the first World gold medal in Japanese male figure skating' history

A happy, serene and proud Daisuke Takahashi in Torino, at the 2010 Worlds; he had just won the gold – the first World gold medal in Japanese male figure skating’ history

“To move on with my life I needed to draw a line and retire from competition”, said Takahashi, adding that he hasn’t yet decided what he would do next. Surrounded by his mother, by coach Utako Nagamitsu and great friends, the 28-year old Japanese skater officially put an end to a wonderful career, which included competing in three editions of the Olympic Games (Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014), winning three medals at the World Championships and four at Four Continents, other five in the Grand Prix Series – and an Olympic bronze atop of that.

“Thank you, Daisuke Takahashi, for your magnificent career and your beautiful art. Congratulations on your next chapter and golden luck!”, wrote Johnny Weir on twitter, while Daisuke’s long time friend, Akiko Suzuki, posted a picture of her, Daisuke and coach Nagamitsu with the message: “Thank you Dai-chan!! I hope your future will shine”.

On instagram, Miki Ando shared her gratitude towards the man who changed the Japanese figure skating for good: “Thank you, Daisuke. You made me strong as a skater and happy with your skating! Go for your next step and shine as always!” Posting a picture of him and Daisuke on instagram, Tomas Verner confessed: “I was never afraid to say that even competing with you, I cheered for you! Good luck in your next career! Skating world will miss a huge figure and personality”.

Jeremy Abbott on instagram: “My best wishes and a huge Congrats to Daisuke on an unbelievable career! I’m sad to see you go, but I know there is more brilliance in your future!”

Denis Ten on instagram: “The artist, great athlete, personality and inspiration. You’ll be truly missed. Good luck with all the wonderful things the future holds for you!”

Javier Fernandez on twitter: “Daisuke Takahashi, amazing career of figure skating! You will be one of my favourite skater always! GO DISK! We love you and we will miss you!”

Adam Rippon on instagram: “I consider myself one of the luckiest people because I had the chance to train with one of my idols when I was younger. Daisuke, I’ve always thought you were amazing and it was an honor to have skated and competed with you for so many years. Congratulations on an amazing career!”

Misha Ge on instagram: “One and Only – Daisuke Takahashi. Still remember the first time I met and saw Daisuke in competition live – it was in 2004, in Harbin (China), at Asian Championships. Still remember how my Dad told me to go watch and learn on his early practice at 7am in that little cold ice rink in Harbin. Remember how I went there with a video camera to record and learn from him that day (as my Dad told me to do), when most of kids skaters were sleeping at that time. Ever since I watched him that day he became one of my Most Favorite Skater and one of the Biggest Inspiration in Skating World. Every program he did is a piece of art that touched millions of people’s hearts and also put smiles on people’s faces. Looking back, is really hard to imagine the skating world in these years without Daisuke Takahashi. How much he did, how much he taught us, and how much will people remember of his Beautiful and Unique Skating from the Heart. Is really hard to say goodbye, Daisuke, we all, skaters and audience, will miss you in skating world, but things and art you did in skating will last forever, and we will remember them. We all wish you best and happiest things in the life you can reach in the future days. I and we will keep follow your way and keep do what you’ve done in skating, Skate from The Heart. Artist. Champion. Inspiration. With Best Regards: Inspired Skater by You, Fan and Your Friend: Misha Ge”.

Maxim Trankov: “Dear D1sk, you are amazing skater, great person & great artist on ice. For me was so much pleasure to watch your performances around the world. I’m proud to be your skating friend. Thanks for everything! I’m sure you will be happy in your next stept in your life. Hugs from Russia!”

Daisuke Takahashi and his fans in Nice, at the 2012 Worlds

Daisuke Takahashi and his fans in Nice, at the 2012 Worlds