Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko had a disappointing end to a decorated career when he withdrew from singles competition on Thursday due to injury.
It was unclear if Plushenko would compete in the Short Program Men's competition but he was a late addition, much to the adulation of his home ice supporters looking for him to try and get one more medal in Sochi. He attempted to prepare for the event, but hurt an oft-injured back on a triple axel during warmups.
Plushenko tried to stay on the ice, but it was a similar story on his second practice jump. He spent some time speaking with the Russian coaches and holding his back before skating over to the official's table to announce he was withdrawing from the competition.
Instead of standing on the podium Plushenko was at center ice, raising his arms one last time to a crowd that has made him a national hero since his figure skating career began on the international stage in 1998. If this is it for Plushenko, he leaves with four Olympic medals, including a gold in the team event from Sochi. Plushengo is a titan of the sport and he will pass the torch to a younger breed of skaters after announcing his retirement, effective at the close of the 2014 games.