News / Europe

Plushenko Pulls Out of Men's Figure Skating Event

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets Yevgeny Plushenko, a member of the gold medal-winning Russian figure skating team, during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 9, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets Yevgeny Plushenko, a member of the gold medal-winning Russian figure skating team, during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 9, 2014.
Reuters
— Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko pulled out of the men's individual figure skating event at the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, just seconds before he had been due to start his short program.

Plushenko was seen clutching the base of his spine throughout his warm-up and when they announced his name as the next performer, instead of taking his position for the start of his routine, he skated up to the judges.

After an exchange with officials, a male voice announced in Russian over the Iceberg Skating Palace's public address system "Yevgeny Plushenko cannot participate due to a trauma (injury)''.

Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia skates on the ice prior to pulling out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia skates on the ice prior to pulling out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
x
Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia skates on the ice prior to pulling out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia skates on the ice prior to pulling out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
The announcement left more than 10,000 fans deflated and ended one of the most talked about careers in figure skating.

"I came out for the warm-up  and in the first triple Axel I stepped out and felt like I had a knife in my back. And the second triple Axel, it was horrible one. It was a hard landing and after this I didn't feel my right leg,'' an exhausted Plushenko told reporters as he rubbed his back.

"I took four pills (painkillers) and it didn't help. I think it was God saying, 'Yevgeny enough, is enough."


The 31-year-old's participation in the men's event had been in the balance after he admitted his back started to act up during his free skate in the team competition on Sunday.

Although he managed to finish off that routine, it was a million miles off from what the world had come to expect of the Russian showman.

At the end of that underwhelming performance he said he would need ''the doctors to implant some stuff into my back" so that he could recover in time to pull off two final performances in front of his home fans.

Unfortunately for the spectators who had flocked into the arena to cheer on their favorite son, time simply ran out for Plushenko.

''This is not a tragedy what happened with Yevgeny. During the (last) 20 years, he has had good success, mostly as a winner. Don't criticize him too much," his coach Alexei Mishin said.

Barely skated

Having barely skated over the past four years, Plushenko had been drawn to perform his short program to Tango de Roxanne early on Thursday - well before all the other medal favorites were due to skate.

But the Russian looked stony-faced from the moment he stepped out for his six-minute warm-up, laboring around the rink, repeatedly clutching and pressing his back, and going up to the barriers to talk to Mishin.

After his withdrawal was confirmed, a dejected Plushenko skated to the center of the rink to bow to all four ends of the arena before waving farewell to a stunned, and somewhat muted, audience who had come to cheer him on.

Plushenko's exit ended yet another controversial chapter in his colorful career as he had been criticized for barging into the Olympics through the back door because he only secured his place following a secret test skate rather than beating his younger Russian rivals in open competition.

But he seemed to have silenced his detractors when he helped Russia to triumph in the inaugural team competition on Sunday, winning his second Olympic gold and fourth overall.

Having also announced his retirement following the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, Mishin was asked if there were any further comebacks left in Plushenko.

 ''Maybe in the Paralympic Games!" he replied.


Click here to see VOA's Winter Olympics site 

  • United States' Sophie Caldwell skis with a sleeveless top as temperatures went well over the freezing point during the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • In this image made with a multiple exposure, Finland's Antti Ollila competes in the men's ski slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • Fan Kexin of China, Elise Christie of Britain, Jessica Hewitt of Canada and Emily Scott of the United States compete in a women's 500m short track speedskating quarterfinal at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • Sebastien Lepape of France crashes out in a men's 1000m short track speedskating heat at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • Canadian fans cheer during the men's ski slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • Kanae Aoki of Japan races after the goal shot by Franziska Busch of Germany during the closing seconds of the women's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • A spectator wears the Olympic rings made from bagels during the men's ski slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • Canada's Jill Officer, left, and Dawn McEwen, right, sweep the ice during the women's curling competition against Denmark at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.
  • Norway's Marit Bjoergen catches her breath after the women's 10K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Virginia from: USA
February 13, 2014 11:04 PM
He had nothing to prove this year; he is and always will be an athlete to admire. Best wishes in a full recovery. This man is one full of Olympic stature.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid