Plushenko has spinal disc replaced; hopeful for Sochi

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Torino figure skating champ Yevgeny Plushenko underwent back surgery Thursday in Tel Aviv, and actually had a deteriorated spinal disc removed and replaced with a synthetic one.

“The doctor who performed the operation said it was a success,” Plushenko’s coach Alexei Mishin told Reuters. “It’s too early to make any prognosis about his return to the ice… Looking back we all say he should have done something else but it’s too late now. The disc was in such a bad condition.”

Plushenko, 30, effectively retired after winning his third Olympic medal in 2010, but returned to win his tenth national championship last month despite being sidelined for a year with a knee surgery and back issues. Now he hopes this surgery will help him make one final push toward winning a fourth career medal at his country’s first Winter Olympics.

“He should get a new lease of life and hopefully will come back stronger than he was last year,” Mishin added. “I know he has his mind set on competing at the Sochi Olympics and I’m sure he’ll do whatever it takes to be there in good shape and in good health.”

Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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After two and a half weeks of brilliant sport, the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics will officially close.

NBCOlympics.com: How to watch the Closing Ceremony

The Winter Olympics have born witness to some truly remarkable events, from Ester Ledecka winning two gold medals in two different sports to Team USA’s improbable curling run.

Jessie Diggins, who won the U.S.’s first cross-country Olympic gold with teammate Kikkan Randall, will be the flag bearer for the United States.

Join Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, and Johnny Weir as they host the Closing Ceremony on TV and online at primetime.

Stream Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

All of the figure skating firsts from PyeongChang 2018

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History was made in PyeongChang in all sorts of ways, but the U.S. figure skaters put their name in the books at these Winter Games.

Here’s a look at all the ways figure skaters from Team USA pushed the sport forward in 2018.

Nathan Chen is the first skater to hit five clean quads in a free skate at the Olympics

Nathan Chen was disappointed in his short program, where he took a few unexpected tumbles. With medal contention seeming out of the picture, Chen was able to freely skate without pressure.

Despite missing his first quad attempt, Chen nailed the subsequent five to move all the way up to fifth place.

Mirai Nagasu is the first U.S. woman to do a triple Axel at the Olympics

It was this moment that really put the Americans in medal contention for the team event. A move rarely done by any competitors at all, Nagasu laid it all on the line and perfectly executed her triple Axel.

Watch all the figure skating firsts by clicking here