Evgeni Plushenko from Team Russia retired from his competitive skating career on Thursday right after withdrawing from the men’s short program skating event. The 31-year-old figure skater had just won a gold medal over the weekend for the team figure skating event.
Plushenko opted out of the competition due to medical concerns. During warm-ups, he fell doing a triple axel and hurt himself after a bad landing. The figure skater then loosened up by skating around the rink a few times before attempting to do another axel. Again, he was unsuccessful. Plushenko pushed himself to perform in the competition, as there are only two events left – the short and long program. However, after botching two axels during warm-ups, he felt stabbing pains on his back that made him decide to withdraw after consulting his coach, Alexei Mishin.
After his name was called, Plushenko skated to the referee to withdraw from the event. He waved to the spectators and placed his right hand over his heart, as if to apologize for not competing.
Plushenko has had 12 surgeries done mostly on his knees, but just last year, the gold-medalist had a surgery wherein 4 screws were implanted on his back.
Plushenko says he wishes he was healthy but he isn't. He also says that it is God’s way of saying that he has had enough of skating. This was not the first time he took a break from skating. In 2006, he took a two-year hiatus mainly because of his injuries. The figure skater is considered the only modern-period skater who has won medals in four Olympics – a gold in 2006, silvers in 2002 and 2010, and just last weekend, another gold with his teammates.
Russia will not be having a finisher in the event, as they only had one male spot that was filled by Plushenko.
Image via Wikimedia Commons