Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko withdrew from the men's short figure skating competition today after falling during warm-up and apparently suffering an injury.
The 31-year-old skater had just won a gold medal in the team figure skating competition along with his Russian teammates.
However, he was the only skater for Russia in the men's short figure skating competition, meaning his withdrawal will leave the country without a chance at a solo medal in men's figure skating during these home games in Sochi, Russia.
Plushenko was warming up before competition when he attempted a triple axel jump. As he landed, he appeared to wince in pain.
Last summer, he underwent surgery to replace a disk in his spine with an artificial one.
In a tense moment after warm-up, Plushenko took the ice to thunderous applause before his scheduled performance and went to the judges, where he told them he was withdrawing.
In an interview with NBC Sports after withdrawing, Plushenko said he had back pain in training Wednesday and had been unable to do jumps even then. After trying to a jump during the warm-up, he said he knew he would be unable to compete.
"I almost cried because it's hard, believe me. This is [the] end of my career but I try to make best," said Plushenko. "I am normal people like you. I'm not robot. I try my best and I try to go 'til the end."
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- Evgeni Plushenko
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