SOCHI, February 06 /ITAR-TASS/. The coach of famous Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko said he realizes that the current 2014 Winter Games in Sochi will be the last for the talented athlete, but their joint work will continue after the skater wraps up his Olympic career.
“I understand that this will be the last Olympics for him,” Alexei Mishin said. “But life in the figure skating is very long and I am sure that our cooperation will not come to a stop [after the Sochi Olympics].”
Mishin said it was hard to say anything before the start of the Olympic figure skating competition, but added that it would be wrong for people to consider Plushenko, the 2006 Olympics champion, as “an ordinary athlete.”
Although the official opening ceremony of the Winter Games in Sochi will be held on Friday, the Olympic competition in figure skating starts on Thursday night with team men short program and team pairs short program. Plushenko held a training session at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Thursday morning, but evaded talking to journalists after the practice.
“Sometimes people treat him [Plushenko] as an ordinary athlete, while he is the Guiness Book of World Records in the context of figure skating. He is a hero,” Mishin said.
On Thursday night Plushenko will be the fourth out of ten skaters to skate his program, which he will be performing to Tango de Roxanne music.
The 31-year-old figure skater, who also brought Russia silver medals both at the 2002 Olympics in US Salt Lake City and at the 2010 Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver and won seven European champion titles, struggled with back injuries over the past two skating seasons.
The Russian Figure Skating Federation decided to put Plushenko for the only spot in men’s singles figure skating team with less than three weeks remaining before the Games. The federation initially pondered the candidacy of 18-year-old Maxim Kovtun, who left Plushenko behind with silver in Russia’s national championship in late December.