Internet users are applauding Canadian figure skater Keegan Messing after he unfurled the Japanese flag during a medal award ceremony at the 2019 Autumn Classic International on Saturday.
During the ceremony, where Messing won Bronze, the 27-year-old figure skater realized that the Japanese flag wasn’t noticeable when the country’s national anthem started playing, according to CBC.
Without a moment’s notice, Messing unfurled the flag behind gold medal winner Yuzuru Hanyu. The 24-year-old Japanese figure skater came down from his podium to face and give respect to his country’s flag, which Messing held for the duration of the anthem.
Hanyu then repaid Messing’s kind gesture by bowing to him after the anthem ended as the crowd cheered their showcase of sportsmanship.
Twitter users praised Messing for his gesture.
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.
— Rascalsan (@Rascalsan1) September 15, 2019
Thank you Keegan.
You are very fair and have great sportsmanship.
Japan respects people like you.
— Holy (@holydragon2222) September 15, 2019
I understand Canadian’s humble and generous mind well. I wish Canada happiness from far away Japan.
— Hiroshi Aihara (@partiten_bach) September 15, 2019
Thank u for sharing such a heart warming moment. And also thank Mr.Keegan for expressing your respect to our national flag.
— あだっち (@qoUZCQyasFfagSK) September 15, 2019
Keegan Messing’s behavior is worth for another Gold Medal.
From Japan, thank you so much!
— hirolyn (@kohakuchihuahua) September 15, 2019
Keegan Messing is such an excellent skater but he’s also a wonderful human and teammate. That was a beautiful gesture.
— Kiss and Cry (@KissandCryBlog) September 15, 2019
The fact Keegan knew to unfurl the flag is the most important element to this gracious act…smart young man #Canadian
— Thom Racine (@Thomer1162) September 15, 2019
Somewhere in the audience are parents, teachers who raised a kid right. #ParentingGoals
— Cathie Cayaba (@cathiebility) September 15, 2019
I’m Japanese. Japanese people were surprised at Keegan’s wonderful behavior! Great player! be impressed! Thank you Keegan. pic.twitter.com/nCvRLYu6oU
— つばさ (@tusyse) September 15, 2019
Thanks Keegan! Canada and Japan get along well. I guess we share several common values like respect other people and different cultures 🙂
— Kimi_1073 (@Kimi_1073) September 15, 2019
To Canada and Canadians
and Canadian figure skater Keegan
“Thank you so much”
“Thank you for the wonderful tournament event”
from all Japanese
— timecapsulelook (@timecapsulelook) September 15, 2019
I thank you for his gentleness heartily.
Thank you for having the respect for our important national flag.
Thank you 、Canada！
— ももはむ君♪ (@momoirobuhibuhi) September 15, 2019
Hanyu won the tournament with a total score of 279.05, Olympic Channel reported.
French figure skater Kevin Aymoz took home the silver medal with a score of 262.47, while Messing landed bronze with a total of 256.02 score.
Featured Image Screenshot via Facebook / CBC Olympics