How to bite the dog
After the end of the the World Championships, Evgny Plushenko adresses all figure skating fans through "MK".
Evgeny Plushenko, having withdrawn from the figure skating world championship due to injury, left Moscow only yesterday.
Through he didn't give any interviews before, the skater asked the "MK" journalist Irina STEPANTSEVA to pass his words onto
"I tried very hard. I fought. I fought for the three spots for Russia at the Olympic gaves. However, poor shape, only two weeks of training, and a heavy injury prevented me from helping out our team. The CITO doctors who looked at me said: tear of a groin joint. Curing it will take a few weeks, followed by a rehabilitation period.
I know not everyone agreed with my decision to withdraw. Some said it didn't matter what placement I'd get; that even with a second or a third I'd become a national hero. However, I do not accent such an approach. I cannot fight half-heartedly, and I don't want any undeserved praise.
I have tried, and I will try in the future. Please forgive me for not demonstrating in Moscow that which all figure skating fans expected.
Your Evgeny Plushenko".
Evgeny now has a short rest, followed my curing the injury. He'll skip the Collins tour to have time to prepare for the Olympic games. In Moscow we saw what a high level tournament is without Zhenya. It's not just that among the medalist, with the exception of the first place, the skaters were there because of circumstances as much as their skating; it's also that Plushenko today sets the tone for the whole competition. He determines the type of the fight.
During the championships, your correspondent deliberately did not raise the question of whether or not Zhenya should have taken the ice at all, how serious the injury was, and whether or not this whole season was planned well. Only specialists can weigh in on that. here is what a famour coach Valentin NIKOLAEV says:
"It's a very sensitive issue. Each coach and each athlete decide their fate differently. There is the country status, the desire for a fight, but there are also other components. Something made Zhenya fight. I don't think it was any pressure from above regarding the prestige of the country. That's impossible, as Mishin's highest professionalism would not allow an injured student to take the ice. I think it was just his stubborness in a fight, his unwillingness to quit.
As to what Plushenko means for figure skating today - look at what the championship looked like without the leader. Everone except Stephane Lambiel had been on their backs. That's because they are used to "biting" a dog ahead of them. Without the leader, they pack got lost. It's easy to bite, but it's immensely difficult to take his place. Everyone got used to being behind Plushenko: if he stumbles, we'll pass him. Noone passed him outright. I think once Zhenya cures his injury, everything will return to its rightful place".
"MK" can only join in the sentiment.