Plushenko said he’s already practicing quadruple jumps in training and only needs two or three warm-up events before the Olympics. Those could include the ISU Grand Prix event in Moscow (Nov. 22-24), the Russian National Championships (Dec. 22-27 in Sochi) and the European Championships (January in Budapest, Hungary).
Russia only qualified one male skater for the Sochi Olympics via Maxim Kovtun‘s 17th-place finish at the World Championships in March. There isn’t as much elite depth in the country’s program now as there was in the 1990s and early 2000s, a stretch where a Unified Team or Russia skater won five straight Olympic golds.
Plushenko seems confident of attaining the one berth available despite pulling out of the 2013 European Championships after the short program, where he placed sixth, citing a back injury. He had surgery in January and missed the World Championships.
“A relapse of my back injury is the only thing that can prevent me from achieving a top-class result at Sochi,” he said.
Plushenko said he will perform a free skate that’s a mix of his previous programs — a best of Plushenko, if you will. It was the idea of his coach, Alexei Mishin.
“We decided that it would be an original move and a spectacular finish to my career,” Plushenko said.