Evgeni Plushenko wants 3rd gold

From 5th Olympics

Evgeni Plushenko wants to skate on his 5th Olympics 2018

Evgeni Plushenko wants to skate on his 5th Olympics 2018

“I don’t want to leave the sport. I want to recover fully, do another 10 surgeries if needed, have all disks replaced with implants, skip a couple of seasons, learn a couple of quads and return to the sport. To be exact, to not return, but to stay. Because it is needed to prove to those who cheep and squeal now,” said 2-time Olympic champion and 4-time medalist 31-year old Evgeni Plushenko on Russian TV in reply to a series of severe critiques of his withdrawal from individual competition in the home country.

Read: Ice King Evgeni Plushenko. Interview: falling princes & quintuple jumps

One of the most vivid opponents Plushenko faces, besides all-respected 3-time Olympic champion Irina Rodnina, is Alexei Yagudin who defeated him in the 2002 Olympics, taking gold to his new coach Tarasova—depriving not only Evgeni but Mishin, the former coach they shared as competitors.

Yagudin comments: “He [Plushenko] withdrew from the European championship; for many years we heard that he has this or that injury; it is not news anymore … the last story with [his] back and bolts and him beginning to learn walking again… but a constant issue… It’s a mistake by the Federation of Figure Skating that they were led by him again, trusted him that he will compete till the end…probably they have received some promises. They always preferred him and now they have received from him [Evgeni’s words] that they ‘forced’ him to skate.”

Plushenko, not without assistance of his TV host, confronted another one of his own interviews, this with CNN, during which he said that he was “forced” to skate by the Russian Figure Skating Federation, the host feeding the idea that Plushenko’s bad English caused “misrepresentation.” However just a few days earlier, on February 15, 2014, Evgeni made the same statement as on CNN in a taped interview with HealthyLivinG Magazine. The HL interview was conducted in Russian to avoid translation issues.

Read: Evgeni Plushenko Withdrew "I didn't feel my legs after the 2nd triple axel, and almost cried when I had to withdraw"

In addition Yagudin tweeted that Plushenko and his wife called and threatened him, demanding that he cease criticizing the skater’s withdrawal from the competition. Russian TV asserted the call from Plushenko was a prank.

Plushenko responded: “Yagudin is not competition; he used to be the best, the most difficult athlete ever for me. He left the sport in 2002, 12 years ago, and is now jumping one triple toe loop, not always successfully. He was once a great athlete but still competes with me while I do not compete with anybody. I compete only on the ice… I prove [things] to everybody only with my skating. I do not exclude that I want to stay in the sport and prove to many, but above all to myself, that I will be competing in my 5th Olympics.”

Read: Evgeni Plushenko's Olympic Formula: 2 quads+8 triples+4 spine bolts+12 surgeries = 4.5 min

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