Evgeni Plushenko, prominent Russian figure skater
Evgeni Plushenko is a prominent Russian figure skater, 2006 Winter Olympic Champion, 2002 and 2010 Olympics silver medalist, three-time World Champion, seven-time European Champion, four-time Grand Prix Final gold medalist and nine-time Russian National Champion, Honored Master of Sports of Russia.
He was born on November 3, 1982 in Solnechny, Khabarovsk region. Evgeni started skating at the age of four when his mother sent him to figure skating classes to strengthen his poor health. When his skating rink was closed Evgeni moved to St. Petersburg to continue training. 11-years-old boy had to face difficulties during his first years far from home, living alone in a communal flat in circumstances that did not match his young age.
Evgeni won the 1997 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, in Seoul, South Korea when he was 14.
At the age of only 15, he surprisingly won the bronze medal at the senior World Figure Skating Championships in 1998 and everybody started talking about the “new wonder boy”.
At the age of only 18 he became World Champion at 2001 World Championships in Vancouver, Canada.
At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, USA, Evgeni entered the Games as the reigning World Champion and the favorite to win the title along with his compatriot Alexei Yagudin. In a competition, marking a milestone in what is considered the greatest rivalry in the history of the sport, Plushenko skated a strong and risky free program, landing the unique combination of 4toe-3toe-3loop, a second quad and 3axel-half loop-3flip combination, while performing to the music of Bizet’s “Carmen”. He finished in second place overall to win his first Olympic Silver.
In 2006 Evgeni fulfilled his childhood dream and became an Olympic champion at 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
In 2008 Plushenko, together with violinist Edvin Marton, accompanied the famous singer Dima Bilan on stage as part of the winning Eurovision Song Contest performance “Believe” in Belgrade, Serbia. He skated around the singer on a small ice-like surface.
At the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, Evgeni won the Short program, skating to the music of “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo.
Plushenko skipped the World Championship 2012 in Nice, because he had a knee surgery on 23rd of February in Munich, Germany and resumed training for the next season after the rehabilitating process.
So far, in 88 competitions Evgeni has won:
4 bronze medals
Evgeni has announced that he is preparing to realize his dream to compete in Sochi 2014, his 4th Olympic Games in his home country.
The most expensive Plushenko’s medal
Preparing for the Games in Sochi now two-time Olympic champion understood that as a result of the grueling workouts he could become an invalid. In February 2013 Plushenko was operated on in Israel. It was a very complex operation, his intervertebral disc was entirely removed and replaced by a synthetic material. After spinal surgery few believed that Plushenko will be able to return to the highest level.
However, Eugene is a unique athlete, he was able to overcome all health problems and started training.
On February 9, 2014 he became the Olympic champion in the team competition in Sochi. But because of back pain he had to left Olympics.
On June 18 in 2005 Evgeni married Maria Ermak. Their son Egor was born on June 15, 2006. They divorced on February 2008.
On September 12, 2009 he married Yana Rudkovskaya, producer and director of Music Management Company, owner of beauty salons and fashion boutiques. Their son, Alexander, was born on January 6, 2013.
Russian figure skaters are leaders at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in team competitions.