Why do fans of Japan figure skating champ Yuzuru Hanyu pelt him with Pooh Bears?

Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu took first place in the Olympic Games men's short programme, and was immediately showered with Winnie the Pooh bears.

The 23-year-old Japanese skating star's success was all the more remarkable as he has been recovering from an ankle injury, but what spectators were really asking was: "Why do his fans insist of showering him with Pooh Bears?"

The bears must be gathered from the ice ahead of the next performance Credit: AP

Simply put, Winnie the Pooh has become something of a good luck charm for Hanyu.

He was seen carrying one in 2010 and the much-loved AA Milne character has since appeared with the skater at news conferences and on the sidelines watching him at competitions.

Hanyu has even been known to re-arrange his Pooh Bear so it has a better view of his performance.

The Japanese skater won his competition at the 2018 Games, despite recovering from injury Credit: AP

He was spotted with one at Sochi in the 2014 Winter Games, but Olympic rules on branding mean Hanyu must leave Pooh in the locker room.

But that has not stopped his fans.

The scene at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games is actually quite a common occurrence, albeit Hanyu has been out of action recently because of his injury.

The bears are usually gathered up and distributed to children in the area where the competition is being held.