Canadian Figure Skater’s Simple Gesture Touches Hearts

Keegan Messing has endeared himself to many Japanese

During the medal ceremony at the 2019 Autumn Classic International in Oakville, 3rd place Canadian skater, Keegan Messing turned towards the first place podium and reached for the flag of Japan. He unfurled it and held it so that 1st place winner, Yuzuru Hanyu, could stand facing his country’s flag while the anthem, Kimigayo, played.



In Japan, it is customary to face their flag when their national anthem is playing.  Apparently, there was no flag of Japan in the arena except for the one behind Hanyu, which is why Messing unfurled it. It was a lovely and culturally aware gesture from the Canadian that helped Hanyu show his respect for his country.

Japanese users on Twitter have commented on this saying things like, “I’m Japanese. Japanese people were surprised at Keegan’s wonderful behavior! Great player! be impressed! Thank you Keegan.” and “Keegan Messing-san Many Japanese people love you because of your action for the national flag. When you come to Japan at a skating competition, I will give you a lot of encouragement for your performance.”



Here’s Messing’s performance, skating to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” which was the song he and his wife danced to at their wedding in August.

And here’s the performance by Yuzuru Hanyu: