Yevgeny Plushenko, a four-time Olympic medalist, said men’s figure skaters will be performing quadruple Axels in 10 years if the sport continues at its current rate, according to Russian news agency TASS.
A quad Axel has never been landed in competition.
In men’s skating, quadruple toe loops have been performed since the 1980s, quadruple Salchows since the 1990s and the first ratified quadruple Lutz was landed in competition in 2011.
Skaters have practiced quadruple loops, but they had not been landed in international competition as of July, according to icenetwork.com. Japanese 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi attempted quadruple flips in 2010.
Plushenko, 33, became the first figure skater in 82 years to earn four Olympic medals when he took gold in the team event in Sochi last year.
He hasn’t competed since but hasn’t ruled out a run for a fifth Olympics in 2018, though a balky back may be his biggest obstacle to the feat.
Plushenko criticized men’s figure skating in 2010, when he took Olympic silver behind Evan Lysacek, who did not attempt a quadruple jump at the Winter Games.
Plushenko said after the Grand Prix Final earlier this month that he was pleased with the sport’s progression given the quads being performed by Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez and Jin Boyang, according to TASS, adding that he believed women would soon start attempting (and landing) more quads in competition.