Plushenko withdraws from men's figure skating

Russian suffered injury in warm-ups Thursday

Published On: Feb 13 2014 11:49:33 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2014 11:57:23 AM EST
Evgeni Plushenko withdrawal in Sochi

Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko pulled out of the men's individual event at the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, seconds before he was due to start his short program.

The three-time Olympic medalist landed awkwardly on a triple axel in warm-ups for the event and could be seen clutching the base of his spine throughout the rest of his warm-up.

When it came to his time to skate in the event, Plushenko skated up to the judges and an announcer said in Russian that he was withdrawing due to an injury.

The 31-year-old skater has a history of back problems and had four screws inserted into his back in a 2013 surgery. He announced his retirement shortly after withdrawing from the event.

He already owned an Olympic gold and two silvers in the men's event coming into Sochi and won another gold over the weekend as part of the Russian team in the first-ever Olympic team figure skating event. His four medals ties him with Sweden's Gillis Grafstrom for the most Olympic medals won by a figure skater.

His withdrawal leaves the Russians without a figure skater in the men's event.