Evgeni Plushenko Drops Out of Men's Competition at Sochi: See the Injury That Ended His Olympic Run

On Thursday morning, the men's figure-skating program took a dramatic turn when Russian champion Evgeni Plushenko quit the Sochi Winter Olympics, just seconds before he was due to skate. Just after his name was called to compete, Plushenko skated over to judges and bowed out of the competition due to injury. Last year, Plushenko had one of the discs in his spine replaced, and during warm-ups Wednesday and Thursday injured himself enough to withdraw from the competition.

This is a devastating turn for Plushenko, for whom this may be his last Olympics. Plushenko is a three-time world champion in figure skating, and seven-time European champion. He already has four Olympic medals under his belt, including a gold medal in this year's Sochi Games in the men's team skating event. In the 2010 Vancouver Games, Plushenko lost out on the gold to U.S. champion Evan Lysacek, and didn't hide his displeasure. At all.

"If the Olympic champion doesn't know how to jump a quad [quadruple jump], I don't know," Plushenko told ESPN grumpily, according to the network. "Now it's not men's figure skating, now it's dancing."

He's also known for his showmanship. During the team skating event at Sochi, Plushenko opened the routine by raising one finger to his lips, effectively hushing the crowd (including Vladimir Putin.) And he's met his match in his wife, Yana Rudkovskaya: "I am very famous. I am top three in Russian woman," she told the Associated Press.

Here's Plushenko during his warm-up Thursday, shortly before pulling out of the competition.

And the bad luck didn't stop there for the men's figure-skating event: American skater Jeremy Abbott fell during his performance. Fortunately, Abbott quickly got back up and resumed the show.

Image: Getty Images