Adelina Sotnikova

Yevgeny Plushenko
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Yevgeny Plushenko to coach Adelina Sotnikova

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Yevgeny Plushenko wasn’t able to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. Maybe he can coach a skater to the feat instead.

Plushenko, who announced his retirement on Friday, has started coaching Sochi Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova, according to Russian media.

“We began cooperation with Adelina, however, this is all I can say at the present moment,” Plushenko said Tuesday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

The news comes one day after Plushenko posted on Instagram that he planned to return to the Olympics as a coach. Russian media reported Plushenko will detail his future in a press conference Wednesday.

Sotnikova, 20, hasn’t competed since the December 2015 Russian Championships, where she finished sixth and failed to make the three-woman Russian team for the world championships.

She didn’t compete at all this season, stopping preseason training due to a health issue and opting to perform in less-demanding ice shows, according to Russian media.

Russian women’s figure skating has grown in Sotnikova’s absence, complicating her path to making the 2018 Olympic team.

Five different Russian women have won world championships medals the last three years, including two-time reigning world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva.

Russia has three women’s spots at the 2018 Olympics.

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Adelina Sotnikova likely to skip whole season, eyes 2018 Olympics

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Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova will miss the Russian Championships later this month and will likely sit out this whole season but still hopes to defend her title in Pyeongchang, according to R-Sport.

Earlier this year, Sotnikova stopped preseason training due to a health issue, decided not to compete but rather perform in less-demanding ice shows this fall, according to the report, citing her manager.

Sotnikova, 20, last competed at the 2015 Russian Championships, finishing sixth and failing to make the three-woman Russian team for last season’s European and world championships.

She did not compete in major events in the 2014-15 season due to injury and in 2015-16 skated at one top-level international event, finishing third at the November 2015 Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.

In Sochi, Sotnikova became the first Olympic women’s figure skating champion without a prior Olympic or world championships individual medal.

Russian women’s figure skating has only solidified in Sotnikova’s absence since Sochi, complicating her path to making the 2018 Olympic team.

Yevgenia Medvedeva and Anna Pogorilaya were the two best female skaters this fall. Yelena Radionova and Maria Sotskova will join them in the six-skater Grand Prix Final this week.

Russia can send three women to the European Championships in January and world championships in March. The results of the Russian Championships later this month will largely determine the makeup of those teams.

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Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America; No Grand Prix for Adelina Sotnikova

Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner
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World silver medalist Ashley Wagner and two-time U.S. champion Gracie Gold headline Skate America, while Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova will reportedly sit out the 2016-17 Grand Prix figure skating season.

Wagner and Gold will be joined at Skate America by the last two U.S. men’s champions — Adam Rippon and Jason Brown — and the reigning U.S. ice dance and pairs champions in Hoffman Estates, Ill., from Oct. 21-23.

Wagner and Gold will also skate separately in Grand Prix events in China and France in November, looking to qualify for the Grand Prix Final in December.

Entry lists for all six Grand Prix events were published by the International Skating Union on Thursday.

GRAND PRIX ENTRIES: MEN | WOMEN | ICE DANCE | PAIRS

The biggest non-American news is that Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova of Russia will not skate in the Grand Prix season for the second time in three years since her gold medal in Sochi.

Sotnikova will sit out but still has training plans, according to R-Sport.

Other Sochi Olympic champions Yevgeny Plushenko and Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov of Russia and U.S. ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White are also not competing in the Grand Prix series. Davis and White haven’t competed since becoming the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champs in Sochi but have not retired.

World champion Yevgenia Medvedeva of Russia is entered in Canada, where she will face countrywoman and 2015 World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, and in France, where she will face Gold and three-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan.

The full U.S. entries from U.S. Figure Skating:

Skate America — Hoffman Estates, Illinois — Oct. 21-23
Ladies: Gracie Gold; Ashley Wagner; TBA
Men: Jason Brown; Adam Rippon; TBA
Pairs: Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea; Madeline Aaron & Max Settlage; TBA
Ice dance: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue; Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani; TBA

Skate Canada — Mississauga, Ontario — Oct. 28-30
Ladies: Mirai Nagasu
Men: Grant Hochstein; Ross Miner
Pairs: Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier
Ice dance: Madison Chock & Evan Bates; Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker

Rostelecom Cup — Moscow — Nov. 4-6
Ladies: Polina Edmunds; Courtney Hicks
Men: Max Aaron
Pairs: Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim
Ice dance: Madison Chock & Evan Bates; Elliana Pogrebinsky & Alex Benoit

Trophée de France — Paris — Nov. 11-13
Ladies: Gracie Gold; Tyler Pierce
Men: Nathan Chen; Adam Rippon
Pairs: Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran
Ice dance: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

Cup of China — Beijing — Nov. 18-20
Ladies: Karen Chen; Courtney Hicks; Ashley Wagner
Men: Max Aaron; Ross Miner
Pairs: Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim
Ice dance: Anastasia Cannuscio & Colin McManus; Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani

NHK Trophy — Sapporo, Japan — Nov. 25-27
Ladies: Karen Chen; Polina Edmunds; Mirai Nagasu
Men: Jason Brown; Nathan Chen; Grant Hochstein
Pairs: Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea
Ice dance: Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker

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