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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid