Russian superstar Evegeni Plushenko retired from competitive skating after he withdrew from the men’s short program at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“I think it’s God saying, ‘Evgeni, enough, enough with skating,'” said Plushenko, who originally was hurt in a training session Wednesday. “Age, it’s OK. But I have 12 surgeries. I’d like to be healthy.”
During warmups, he attempted a triple-axel and landed awkwardly. His hands grabbed his back and he tried not to show any pain. When he tried another jump he could not hold the form in the air. The pain was obvious.
His name was announced and he skated over to the judges to make it official. He was the favorite and the only Russian in the men’s short program. He is the Russian in the modern-era to win medals in four Olympics. He was a major reason why Russia won the gold in the first ever ice skating team event in the Olympics.
It was obvious his back was bothering him towards the end of the team event. His final performance was not nearly as perfect and he flinched in pain a few times when he landed. He wanted to continue.
“I said to myself, ‘Evgeni, you must skate. It’s two more days, short and long program,'” the 2006 Olympic gold medalist said.
He did not do well in his final practice on Wednesday.
In that final full practice Wednesday, he fell three times, but was laughing and joking with Mishin after two of the flops. Mishin even said Plushenko was “ready” for the men’s event.
We wish Plushenko the best and hope he recovers soon.