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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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Charlie February 16 2014 at 1:22 PM

the best EVER.

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Dad February 14 2014 at 6:46 PM

We all lose! Watching Evgeni last week was like watching a dreamworld of ballet surrealistic to the point of being a Dali on ice!
Scott Hamilton was right on that Evgeni is/was the greatest skater of all time. At least he certainly is for the period of my knowledge, as well. And I am a Scott Hamilton fan!!!

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HIEP HOI NAILS February 14 2014 at 6:00 PM

A courage farewell to the fans ! We all remember you !

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Catherine February 14 2014 at 5:27 PM

Too bad. I was looking forward to watching him end his career on a high note. but he did the right thing by not risking further injury. It wouldn't surprise me if he showed up at the skating gala at the end of the Games. Hopefully he will be strong enough to skate on Olympic ice for the last time.
A superb skater and a good man who wants to stay healthy to take care of his wife and sons and who will have a great career as a coach and ambassador for the sport and for Russia, if that is what he wants.
Good luck to you, Evgeni, and God bless you. Thank you for all the wonderful skating.

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1 reply to Catherine's comment
sugarcreekchile February 14 2014 at 6:55 PM

He did end his career on a high note. He outclassed and outskated all of the contenders in the team skate. Considering the dismal performance of the other skaters in the men's individual contest, there's no doubt that had Plushenko been physically able to skate, he'd have walked away with gold. His perfomance in the team skate was wonderful. He leaves Sochi a winner. I'm glad we were able to see his talent one more time in the team skate. I, too, send him best wishes as he moves on in life.

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Dena's Trunk February 14 2014 at 5:26 PM

What a shame that his country is now badmouthing him when he has done so much through his skating for them. I so agree with the other comments that he is a great skater, which he is and will be remembered for always. I hope he uses that confident attitude and moves forward to a wonderful retirement. Maybe think about moving to the USA:), I'm sure he and his skating expertise would be greatly appreciated wherever he chose to live. As said earlier, he is a Champion and always will be in the history books and to his true fans.

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wizz219 February 14 2014 at 4:21 PM

He is the BEST SKATER EVER - He accomplished a lot of things - Now 31 skating w/19 yrs old and doing the QUAD - THE crowd should have stood up and CHEEEEERED like crazy for him when they saw he was hurting and told judges he COULDNT go on HE IS A CHAMPION in my BOOK

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carolmayda February 14 2014 at 3:27 PM

Nothing to be ashamed of. It was a smart move. A very fine skater. Thank you.

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jemaga1 February 14 2014 at 2:19 PM

Plkushenko was a joy to watch if you liked skating or not, a real class act and a fine tuned athlete. sorry to see you go but congratulations on knowing when its time. have a wonderful rest of your life

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esimp72774 February 14 2014 at 1:42 PM

Fun with misplaced modifiers:

I hope they also did something for the bloke who got run down by a bobsled. ;)

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Vimala Nowlis February 14 2014 at 1:26 PM

You could tell he was in pain from his eyes and face. His eyes turned red and teary and his face was tight. Glad he withdrew instead of risking further injury. Exit at the top after a gold medal is the way to end a great career.
Fortunately, we have a new star waiting to be crowned. That Japanes guy was amazing and perfection. Just to clarify, he may represent Japan but he trains in Toronto.
And the Canadian champ Chan trains in Detroit. So many other athletes who represent other countries train in Michigan or Utah, including the Swiss guy who beat Shawn White. So their medals should all be counted as Americans.

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