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Injured Russian Figure Skating Champ Evgeni Plushenko Withdraws On Verge Of Last Olympic Competition

A tough moment for an all-time great.

Evgeni Plushenko is one of the all-time great figure skaters, with two golds and two silvers in Olympic competition. At 31, this is expected to be his last Olympics — in his home country of Russia.

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune / MCT

But — after two spinal surgeries in the past two years and a tweaked back earlier in the week in practice — Plushenko was clearly hurting in warm-ups.

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A second jump went badly too.

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So, as he was being called out to perform, Plushenko skated to the judges' table and withdrew from competition.

NBC

He took a few seconds to wave to the home crowd.

NBC

And then it was over. Plushenko won his first world championship medal 16 years ago next month.