Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Evgeni Plushenko of Russia leaves after pulling out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Olympics: Plushenko on thin ice after Olympic dropout
First Published Feb 14 2014 11:16 am • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:39 pm

Sochi, Russia • Four days after being praised as a hero for helping Russia win its first gold at the Sochi Olympics, Evgeni Plushenko on Friday was taking criticism for dropping out of the men’s figure skating.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Plushenko had just one big backer Friday: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Plushenko’s strong performance in the team event brought wide accolades for his determination to overcome injury. But on Thursday he withdrew before the men’s short program, complaining of severe spinal pain during the warmup.

Plushenko was Russia’s only men singles skater in Sochi. He won the slot in a closed exhibition skate that cut out Maxim Kovtun, who beat him in the Russian nationals.

Among his critics was longtime rival Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist. He told the R-Sport news agency he supports "people who go to the end."


story continues below
story continues below

"I think Zhenya will understand my words," he said, using the familiar version of Plushenko’s name. "We always competed through the pain."

The choice of Plushenko as the sole Russian man was debatable. Although he was the dominant skater the past 15 years, with an Olympic gold and two silvers before coming to Sochi, he is 31 years old and underwent back surgery a year ago. When he was selected, advocates argued his long international experience made him a stronger choice than the 18-year-old Kovtun.

But that came under sharp questioning Friday.

"You should go when it’s time," Ruslan Nugmatullin, a former Russian national soccer goalkeeper said on Twitter. "Kovtun earned the right to participate in Sochi2014."

Alexei Urmanov, the 1994 Olympic gold-medal winner, suggested that Plushenko’s hubris backfired.

"It’s on the conscience of Zhenya, the team and the federation," he was quoted by R-Sport.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.