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Russian figure skating star Plushenko to skip next season

Two-time Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko will continue to prepare for the 2018 Olympic Games.
Evgeni Plushenko Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Evgeni Plushenko
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Russian two-time Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko told TASS that he decided to skip the next season but will continue to prepare for the 2018 Olympic Games.

"We’ll skip the season, keep an eye on the trends and make a decision concerning the next season," he explained. "Right now my condition is good but I need to make a decision for the next big season."

"I see no sense in performing at the European and World Championships, I have already taken part in many such competitions. We are considering the Olympic Games, this is our main goal. But (coach Alexei) Mishin, the Federation of Figure Skating and I will make the decision later. We always decide together," Plushenko added. Although retired in the past Plushenko stunned media in the summer of 2014 by announcing that he intended to compete for another title at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang.

Plushenko performed in four Olympics throughout his career, winning his first Olympic gold at the 2006 Winter Games in Italy’s Turin and the second in February last year at Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. He retired from sports after the Sochi Olympics.

Plushenko, who also brought Russia silver medals both at the 2002 Olympics in US Salt Lake City and at the 2010 Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver and won seven European champion titles, struggled with back injuries over the two skating seasons prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but kept insisting that he would be able to perform well on his home ice.

He partly kept his promise winning the gold in team’s competition in Sochi, but his withdrawal from the men’s individuals saw him not only going to Israel last year for the surgery on his back, but drew mass criticism across Russia.

During a warm-up before the individuals’ performance, Plushenko attempted a triple axel jump, but landed uncomfortably aggravating his old injury and breaking a screw that supported an artificial intervertebral disk in his back.

Eventually, the Russian figure skating star withdrew from the competition and later announced that he had decided to quit sports for good.

In April 2015, Plushenko was enlisted once again in the Russian national figure skating team however in mid-September he announced his decision to skip following another spine injury. In December, he said he doesn’t need a spine surgery which was planned for March 2016.