Yevgeny Plushenko out this season; health to determine future

Yevgeny Plushenko

Four-time Olympic figure skating medalist Yevgeny Plushenko will not compete this season but repeated he is considering a run to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

“If my health allows it, then perhaps I will continue competing and will try to enter my fifth Olympics,” Plushenko said, according to Russian media, adding he felt “much better” after March back surgery.

Plushenko, 31, returned to training in May and performed in ice shows this summer.

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.

Yuzuru Hanyu (back) pulls out of first event this season