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Plushenko to skate for Russia at Winter Olympics

Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Evgeny Plushenko will represent Russia in the men's figure skating event at the 2014 Winter Olympics, sports officials confirmed Wednesday.

Plushenko, 31, a seven-time European champion, Olympic gold medal winner in 2006 and silver medal winner in 2010, has been struggling with back injuries in the past two seasons.

"Plushenko is a legend of the sport. That he can skate like that, at his age, is already a huge plus," coach Irina Zhuk told R-Sport, the Russian sports news agency."

He will be Russia's sole competitor in the event, the Russian Figure Skating Federation said in a statement.

His nomination must still be approved by the Sports Ministry and the Russian Olympic Committee although that step appears to be a formality, R-Sport said.

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