Evgeni Plushenko, the Russian figure skating star, retired on Thursday from the men’s singles competition, citing medical reasons .
After winning gold in the team competition on the weekend, Plushenko suffered a fall trying to do the triple axel jump in a warm up for the short program and immediately grabbed his back . He skated to the area where the coaches were and tried to relax a bit taking a few turns on the ice rink .
The Russian tried to make another axel, but neither came out and proceeded to consult with his coach Alexei Mishin. When Plushenko’s name was announced over the loudspeakers seconds later, he went to the chief judge of the competition and withdrew.
Before leaving the track, Plushenko held up both hands in a gesture that conveyed to the audience how sorry he was for what happened. Plushenko was the lone Russian competitor of the host country in the event.
Mishin said that Plushenko hurt his back early on Thursday .
At 31, the Russian is the first skater of the modern era to win medals in four Olympic events : golds in 2006 and 2014 and silver in 2002 and 2010. He has suffered several injuries in the back and knees in the last Olympics, and says that he has undergone 12 operations .