Not only is Yevgeny Plushenko not retiring, but he also has designs on a fifth Olympic appearance in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
“Everything that was broken has been fixed, I can’t break anything more,” Plushenko, who had back surgery in March, told Russian agency ITAR-TASS, according to a Reuters translation. “I will try to take part in my fifth Olympic Games, and to put in a good performance.”
Plushenko, 31, isn’t entered in any 2014 Grand Prix season events, but he reportedly will stay part of the Russian figure skating team, backing up comments from the federation and his agent in April.
In February, Plushenko had announced his retirement after withdrawing before the Olympic men’s short program due to his injured back. Earlier in the Winter Games, Plushenko helped Russia to gold in the new team event, joining 1920s and 30s Swede Gillis Grafstrom as the only four-time Olympic figure skating medalists.
Later in February, he went back on the retirement announcement.
“If need be, I’ll have another 10 operations … I’m not ruling out that I’ll go for a fifth Olympic Games,” he told Reuters in February. “I am not ruling out that I want stay in sports, to prove [something] to many [people] and myself.”
In 2006, Lithuanian ice dancers Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas became the first figure skaters to compete in five Olympics.