Evgeni Plushenko still hasn’t accepted his second-place finish to Evan Lysacek in the men’s figure skating event at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Plushenko remains convinced that Lysacek should not have been able to win gold without attempting a quadruple jump. The American decided to exclude that number from his routine, in favor of a complicated footwork sequence, which he executed to perfection.
But in Plushenko’s mind, footwork constitutes dancing, while quads are the mark of a true athlete. And he has one of the world’s most influential leaders, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on his side.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the wonderful Olympic performance — your silver is worth gold,” Putin told Plushenko shortly after the latter began expressing his qualms with the results. “You were able to overcome all the obstacles in your brave comeback and performed the most accomplished program on the Vancouver ice.”
Plushenko appears to have figured out a way to circumvent the scoring that left him 1.3 points behind Lysacek in the final standings. A photo of the Russian wearing a platinum medal surfaced on his Web site on Tuesday.
Ironically, Plushenko was one of Lysacek’s role models as he rose up the figure skating ranks, and the American has handled the situation with class.
“I guess I was a little disappointed that someone that was my role model would take a hit at me in one of the most special moments of my life,” Lysacek said. “But it’s tough to lose. It’s not easy.”