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Russian figure skating star Plushenko announces retirement

March 31, 12:36 UTC+3

Evgeni Plushenko said he retires mainly because of his health problems which had prevented him from performing in the previous seasons

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Evgeny Plushenko

Evgeny Plushenko

© Denis Vyshinskiy/TASS

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia's two-time Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko told Match TV on Friday that he was retiring.

The 34-year-old figure skater earlier announced that he would go to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, but gave no details on whether or not he planned to compete as an athlete. Now Plushenko will focus on his career as a coach.

"As for me, I won’t go (to 2018 Olympics) as an athlete," Plushenko said. "I have wrapped up my skating career. I’m opening my own academy where I will work as a coach. If we together with the athletes manage to prepare for the Olympics, maybe I will come."

Plushenko said he retires mainly because of his health problems which had prevented him from performing in the previous seasons. The figure skating legend says he cannot compete with young athletes.

"A year ago, I underwent a neck surgery," Plushenko said answering a question when he decided to end his career. "I thought that was already enough, I look at how the youth has grown up and men’s figure skating as well, it is now impossible to compete with young (athletes) it seems to me. There is some limit, and you said the right thing about the titles - I have undergone 15 surgeries and it is difficult to take part in my fifth Olympics, I’m fed up with it," the skating champ explained.

Plushenko performed in four Olympics during his career, winning his first Olympic gold at the 2006 Winter Games in Italy’s Turin and the second in February 2014 at Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. He also won silver medals in 2002 and 2010. The Russian figure skater is also a three-time World champion and seven-time European champion.

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