SOCHI, Russia (AP) — From wild cheers to stunned silence, the Sochi Olympics said goodbye Thursday to one of figure skating’s all-time greats.
Evgeni Plushenko, the first figure skater in the modern era to win medals in four Olympics, retired from competitive figure skating shortly after withdrawing from the men’s competition for medical reasons. The Russian said he injured himself during practice on Wednesday, then fell on a triple axel during warmups Thursday.
When Plushenko limped out of the arena, the cheering stopped, eventually turning into mild applause.
Plushenko’s announcement came hours after an Olympic worker was injured when he was hit by a bobsled near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center. He was taken by helicopter to a local hospital.
Six medals were awarded on Day 7 of the Olympics: in slopestyle skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, speedskating, short track speedskating and luge.
In the first final of the day, the U.S. freestyle skiers swept the podium in slopestyle, with Joss Christensen leading the way in his Olympic debut. Germany completed a sweep of the four luge events by winning the team relay; Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, skiing with a fractured foot, won gold in the women’s cross-country 10-kilometer classical race; and Li Jianrou of China won gold in 500-meter short track speedskating after all three of her opponents in the final fell.