Three-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko decided to withdraw from the European figure skating championships in Croatia Thursday after receiving a less than stellar score on his short program.
He was sitting in sixth with just 74.82 points, a full fifteen points behind Frenchman Florent Amodio, after mistakes on two key jumps during his routine.
“It’s not a tragedy,” Pluschenko told Ves-Sport news agency. “However, I myself don’t understand what happened. Maybe I just hurried to make the triple axel, from which I fell very long ago. It seems I wanted to finish the program as soon as possible.”
He went on to explain, or excuse, his performance, saying that he was forced to remove a quadruple jump because of his injury and simply couldn’t readjust to doing the triple, instead. And then he lashed out at the event’s security guards.
“They didn’t allow me to warm-up: ‘You can’t run! You can’t walk! Go there! Go here!’ They began touching me and, of course, it made me angry. But it’s still inexcusable to make such mistakes.”
It’s a pretty disappointing result for the seven-time European champion as he aims to score a record fourth medal at his hometown Games next year. Here’s hoping he gets back to fighting-shape before worlds.
The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.
It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.
The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.
San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.
Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.
The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.
Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.
MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America
Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.
Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.
Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.
MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal