When Evgeni Plushenko announced last year that he was returning to competition, many discounted his ability to compete with the current generation.
But at the 2012 European Championships, the Russian su- perstar proved to the world once again that he is a force to be reckoned with and should never be counted out.
After an easy win in the qualifying round, Plushenko, who did not attempt a quad in the short due to a lingering injury, was outskated by his training mate Artur Gachinski and landed in second place.
Alexei Mishin, who coaches both skaters, spoke to the press following the short program.
“Men’s skating without a quad is like hammer soup. You can boil the hammer, put salt and pepper in, but it’s never tasty. If somebody likes to skate without a quad, they should organize a separate league — men’s single dancing,” Mishin said. “Today I’m happy about Artur, but especially happy about Evgeni’s skating. He came and showed that he’s able to be a winner on one leg.
“No, the competition is not finished yet. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. But Evgeni showed that he’s alive, strong and dangerous.”
Plushenko added, “I came here to present myself, to skate for my fans, to show my programs and, like my coach said, to show that I am still alive."
Originally published in April 2012