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Plushenko retires after withdrawing from Sochi Olympics

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- From wild cheers to stunned silence, the Sochi Olympics said goodbye Thursday to one of figure skating's all-time greats.

Evgeni Plushenko, the first figure skater in the modern era to win medals in four Olympics, retired from competitive figure skating shortly after withdrawing from the men's competition for medical reasons. The Russian said he injured himself during practice on Wednesday, then fell on a triple axel during warmups Thursday.

When Plushenko limped out of the arena, the cheering stopped, eventually turning into mild applause.

Plushenko Withdraws From Olympic Figure Skating

Plushenko's announcement came hours after an Olympic worker was injured when he was hit by a bobsled near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center. He was taken by helicopter to a local hospital.

Six medals were awarded on Day 7 of the Olympics: in slopestyle skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, speedskating, short track speedskating and luge.

In the first final of the day, the U.S. freestyle skiers swept the podium in slopestyle, with Joss Christensen leading the way in his Olympic debut. Germany completed a sweep of the four luge events by winning the team relay; Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, skiing with a fractured foot, won gold in the women's cross-country 10-kilometer classical race; and Li Jianrou of China won gold in 500-meter short track speedskating after all three of her opponents in the final fell.


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DustyRoseFL February 13 2014 at 2:22 PM

I hate to see him leave. He is one of my all time favorite skaters.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
maggiehames February 13 2014 at 2:01 PM

That really stinks for him; he'll have to console himself with his team gold medal, which ain't a bad way to go out.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Judy February 13 2014 at 2:00 PM

So sorry to see him go. He was a pleasure to watch.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
polncorect February 13 2014 at 1:59 PM

How disappointing for him and his fans. I hope he recovers fully.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
GENE February 13 2014 at 1:56 PM

Gene C.
No time to be rude and crude. This man was a true competitor, a gold medal performer and a loyal Russian. He withdrew with dignity when he could not give it his best.. Sorry he was injured and I hope he recovers soon.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
1 reply
rawdogg53 GENE February 13 2014 at 2:06 PM

i agree

Flag Reply +4 rate up
thetossboss77 February 13 2014 at 1:53 PM

The extent of my experience watching skating is the Olympics. This guy had talent and was a great skater. Hate that he had to end his career this way.

Flag Reply +21 rate up
1 reply
mielkele thetossboss77 February 13 2014 at 2:00 PM

I agree. He has had 12 surgeries (many on his back) and continued to compete when most would have given up!

Flag Reply +10 rate up
pasdebarre February 13 2014 at 1:50 PM

I will miss watching Plushenko skate, He is an awesome competitor and sportsman,
Best to you Evgeniy!

Flag Reply +19 rate up
rlmcanoe February 13 2014 at 1:50 PM

what a shame, as much as you want to win, you have to know when to walk away

Flag Reply +12 rate up
oosumsauce February 13 2014 at 1:50 PM

I a sorry to hear that you had to withdraw. I don't watch a lot of ice skating but when I've seen you skate it was always with such grace and power. I hope life off the ice holds wonderful and amazing things for you.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
TexasKitty February 13 2014 at 1:47 PM

He was always such a pleasure to watch his great leaps. But when your back is not up to par, he was smart to call it quits. I've had 2 back surgeries and the pain was horrible before surgery. Speedy recovery.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
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