Torino figure skating champ Yevgeny Plushenko says he’ll skate at his hometown Sochi Games next February despite an upcoming operation on an intervertebral disc in his lower back.
Plushenko pulled out of the Euro championships last week after being unable to adjust his routine after recently sustained injuries. But he has more than a full year to recover, and will still aim for his modern record fourth Olympic medal next year.
“The complete post-operational recovery will take a long time, but not too long to affect his preparations for next season and its main event, the Olympics,” his coach, Alexei Mishin, said Wednesday.
“[Thursday] he will undergo surgery but we are not going to change the schedule of our preparations. The medics said that [Yevgeny] will be able to walk and swim just four weeks after the operation.”
Plushenko effectively retired after Vancouver, but has since state his “ineradicable” and “unshakeable” desire to compete in Sochi regardless of injury or the fact that he’ll be 31 when the Games roll around.
Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.
Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.
Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.
WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.
Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice
In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.
The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.
The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.
Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.
MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi