Evgeni Plushenko Announces He'll Retire, Just Hours After Dropping Out Of Sochi Competition

It's been a huge day for Evgeni Plushenko. Hours after bowing out of the men's figure-skating event just before he was due to perform, Plushenko has announced his retirement from figure skating. "I'm ending my career," he said Thursday afternoon. "My age allows it, but 12 operations are too much." Plushenko has had 12 operations on his back and knees, and injured himself while warming up for Thursday's event.

Earlier this week, Plushenko helped the Russian team win gold in figure-skating, and he's won three more Olympic medals and seven European championships in his career. Ever the showman, Plushenko's announcement has somewhat overshadowed the men's individual figure-skating event Thursday, which saw two other competitors fall during their performances. (Ouch!)

Both Canadian Kevin Reynolds and American Jeremy Abbott crashed into the ice during their performances, though Abbott at least still attained a decent score (72.58.)

Had Plushenko retired before Monday, Russia could have replaced the athlete in the individual men's figure-skating event. However, the deadline has now passed.

As Bustle reported earlier Thursday:

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.

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