What's Buzzing:

Eh Game

Evgeni Plushenko out of the men’s figure-skating event for medical reasons

Stephanie Myles
Eh Game

View photo

.

It's darn difficult to pull off a quad-triple combination at the best of times. With a barking back, it's impossible. …

Russian skating icon Evgeni Plushenko came out for the warmup in the third flight of skaters for the men's short program.

He revved up for his triple axel, bailed out of it in mid-air, landed and grabbed his back.

[Slideshow: Five epic outfits of Evgeni Plushenko]

After a brief word with the event referee, he apologetically raised both hands to the crowd that had given him a huge ovation as he took the ice, and walked off.

For the 31-year-old who has had 12 surgeries, including recent back surgery, the Olympic comeback was over before it began. And the air went out of the figure-skating venue like a pricked balloon.

It's likely he already knew he wouldn't be able to go, but suited up to at least salute the crowd and hope for a miracle.

[Related: Jason Brown's 'bronytail' attracting attention]

Plushenko had been erratic in his presence at practices this week, undergoing a whole lot of treatment on his back.

In practice Wednesday, he reportedly fell twice – hard. Whether he would have even been able to muddle through a program was sort of beside the point. It seemed fairly obvious he wouldn't be able to skate at a high-enough level to even be a factor.

It's a break for Canadian Patrick Chan and his two Japanese rivals, who are to skate later on in a field of 30 skaters.

But it's a huge disappointment for Plushenko and the Russian people. He was the only one who had any shot at a medal.

But there will always be his efforts in the team event – and that quadruple-triple combination he showed off in the short program.

View Comments (57)
  • No outfoxing Leicester: owners aim to keep winners together

    No outfoxing Leicester: owners aim to keep winners together

    The Thai owners of Premier League champion Leicester City aim to keep the victorious squad together despite expectations that many players will be lured away by lucrative offers from richer clubs. Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, son of club chairman … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • The Walk Off: Bartolo Colon passes Pedro Martinez on wins list

    The Walk Off: Bartolo Colon passes Pedro Martinez on wins list

    Our nightly recap focuses on Bartolo Colon's gem. Plus, Nomar Mazara proves his April wasn't a fluke and Gio Gonzalez turns in another strong start. … More »

    Big League Stew - 21 minutes ago
  • Warriors determined to set defensive tone again in Game 2

    Andrew Bogut has taken to publicly calling himself unflattering names. Such was his mood Monday when someone inquired about the Golden State center often appearing mean and nasty. As long as Bogut and the defending champion Warriors keep playing … More »

    AP - Sports - 41 minutes ago
  • Kemp's 2-run double enough for Shields, Padres vs Rockies

    Kemp's 2-run double enough for Shields, Padres vs Rockies

    Matt Kemp's two-run double in the first inning was all James Shields needed for his first victory of the season. A hard-luck loser his last time out who hasn't received much run support this year, the San Diego Padres' starter pitched well enough … More »

    AP - Sports - 42 minutes ago
  • D Pietrangelo leading Blues' charge

    D Pietrangelo leading Blues' charge

    Alex Pietrangelo is used to playing a lot - especially this time of year. Pietrangelo is fourth overall in the playoffs averaging 30 minutes, 34 seconds, including more than 35 minutes in the Blues' overtime victory in Game 2 in Dallas on Sunday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 43 minutes ago