San Diego Skaters React to Plushenko's Retirement

Evgeni Plushenko, 31, is the only modern-era figure skater to win medals in four Olympics

Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko is ice skating royalty.

However, the four-time Olympic medalist injured himself in warm-ups for Thursday’s Men’s Short Program and withdrew from the Games. He also announced his retirement.

Fans around the world and here and San Diego were disappointed to hear Plushenko wouldn’t be competing. The 31-year-old skater was a favorite to win gold.

“He's been part of the figure skating world for so long. I think that everybody just was waiting to see how he would perform,” said Katy Griffits-Hewitt, a skating coach at the San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa.

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However, Griffits-Hewitt said injuries are part of the sport. Plushenko has had 12 surgeries during his skating career. The jumps, turns and falls can take a toll on the body.

“Falling on a quad jump, people talk about it being similar to being in a car crash,” she said.

She also says Plushenko was known for his style as much as his confidence—or perhaps cockiness—which made him even more fun to watch.

“At the last Olympics, he won silver and he was not very shy about making sure that everyone knew that he thought he should have won gold,” Griffits-Hewitt said.

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