Russian Channel 1 news report about Plushenko’s operation. There are a few moments that may be a little rough if you are squeamish.
From the Channel 1 link:
-the original plan was to replace the broken screw, but during the operation, it became clear that the bones had grown together well, and are holding the disc in place by themselves, so they changed the plan and removed all four screws instead. It was hard to remove them, in fact, and they had to grind away especially at two of the screws
-the screws are made from a titanium alloy used in aircrafts and spacecrafts. Evgeni says that they told him there had been 3 cases of them breaking, out of 50,000
-there is still pain, but he’s been getting constant injections, so he says he’s feeling okay
-Dr. Pekarsky says that after six months, there should hopefully be no more restrictions on what Evgeni is allowed to do
-“For the sake of medals, you need to sacrifice something. I sacrificed my health. Well, some will say I’m a fool , some will say ‘hero’ , some will say something else . But I am what I am, I’m an athlete , I love sports , I love risk.”
-the doctors said it’s really fortunate that the screw did not injure his spinal cord when it broke
“Now the chance of my performance in Sochi looks like 50:50.”
Evgeni Plushenko, March 19, 2013
This was from last year, one of his first full interviews after his disc replacement operation at the end of January.
He lied here. He lied by a factor of 500.
Actually, as Yana finally told, at the time, based on what the doctors told them, they estimated his chances of successfully returning to skating and making it to Sochi to be one in a thousand.
Mishin kept on saying, what Evgeni was doing was “expanding the limits of human possibilities”. I think I finally understand a little what he meant.
tags | Evgeni Plushenko | miracle | damn it Zhenya don't ever do this again | figure skating
here we go again
Just to say, the media is suddenly full of reports that Evgeni Plushenko will be “broadcasting live” his upcoming operation. This is not true.
Yana has clarified that they will try to record the operation. They might show it afterwards, in case there are those who continue to claim that he was “faking it”. They are not saying they are going to broadcast it live.
(A bit of context: last year, when Evgeni first had his disc replacement operation, certain people in the Russian media, most notably Andrei Zhurankov, skaing commentator on Russian Eurosport, claimed that he was somehow faking it. Even after they showed Evgeni’s X-rays, and Russian Channel 1 news went to the Israeli hospital, their accusations only became more and more elaborate. Yes, Evgeni was quite upset about it at that time.)
I know that the media will always jump on the first “drama”, and ignore the clarifications. That is the way they are. But I thought I would try to say a little bit about what is actually happening.
Please, stop and spend a second to imagine what this means. This is a steel screw. It broke into two pieces. In his spine.
But I suppose that some of his haters will now try to come up with an explanation for how he planned this all along.
A screencap from the Channal 1 news program, thanks to the official weibo of Plushy’s Chinese fan club.
According to Dr. Igor Piatigorsky, director of the medical clinic, Plushenko was lucky that the pieces didn’t shift much. Because it could have gone into his spinal cord then and there.
Edited to add: I guess, what I am trying to say is, no one before has tried to return to competitive figure skating with…this kind of stuff in their spine. This was like a medical experiment, you might say. And he was trying so hard to make it in time for Sochi.
tags | Evgeni Plushenko | haters shut the fuck up | this is what he did for Russia | figure skating | Plushenko
The rough gist of it:
-Evgeni is in Israel now, being examined by Dr. Ilya Pekarsky, one of the world’s foremost spine surgeons, who did his operation last year. A new operation is scheduled for March 2
-one of the four screws holding his artificial disc in place broke in half. It might have happened during one of those two 3A’s in the warm-up right before the men’s SP
-it is extremely fortunate that Evgeni
-he went through hell this whole last year, forcing his way to Sochi
-fortunately the two broken pieces haven’t shifted around much. Dr. Pekarsky says that in the new operation, he will have to remove a part of the vertebra, and then replace it. Recovery time is at least six months
-he shouldn’t even be thinking about the possibility of skating again right now. The first question is for the surgery and the recovery to be successful enough so that he can have a relatively normal life
tags | Evgeni Plushenko | oh god | please support him in your thoughts | figure skating | plushenko
Okay, I just want to mention that I haven’t seen other reports yet. So for now, it is possible that this is not completely accurate. It says that one of the screws had broken, so…
But if it is really immediately dangerous, I am sure they would not wait until March 2. Right…?
And if it is true, then please, between now and March 2, if or when you happen to remember, send a positive thought, or a hope for luck, toward him. Thank you. If this report turns out to be not true, I will happily apologize for this.
A Reply to a Plushenko Hater who commented on CNN’s interview
Yeah, haters can go on about being “disgusted”, but what Plushenko said in the CNN interview was simply that he talked to the Russian federation officials about his back problems after the team competition. That is the main point of it. Unless they can come up with some kind of actual evidence against Plushy’s words, “disgusted”, whatever, all they can throw around are just meaningless BS and insults.
Yes, I know it’s a long and complicated story. And let’s not forget the machinations starting from way before the season, all this “maybe Kovtun can also go to Sochi”, all the lies that were spread deliberately about Plushy. You know whom I’m talking about. It ain’t anyone on Plushy’s side.
The thing is, many people are gonna be too lazy to read explanations. They’d just prefer to be stuck on their own groundless ideas.
tags | Evgeni Plushenko | I will never let this go | Russian skating federation | figure skating
The story (yes, it’s a long one)
I posted this as comments on LJ. I thought I would put it here as well, with a few edits.
I am just a fan of Evgeni Plushenko, of course, I don’t have any “inside” information. There are a lot of things that we don’t know about. But from various publicly-available sources that I’ve been following for the last few months, I think it’s pretty probable that something like the following happened.
In general, there were a lot of BS going on all season surrounding this one Russian men’s spot—starting from way before the RN. It’s a really complicated story, and at times almost out of the range of imagination, but there were interviews and things said by various people, from which one can put together a logical story. I won’t put in all the details, but just give an outline here.
Firstly, people are saying that Kovtun was “more deserving” of going to Sochi by winning the RN, but the FFKKR has always been very clear that the RN was not going to be the only criterion for going to the Olympics. Nor has it been, in any other year. Kovtun has improved a lot this season, and RN was his best competition all season, but he ended up placing lowest among all three Russian men at the Euros, with a score of 232.37. And the Olympics is a totally different kind of pressure.
Now, a huge amont of that BS was due to Tatiana Tarasova. Yeah, I know I am accusing, but I know this as a fact. For instance, in early October, she had this interview in which she was talking about how of course Plushy should go to Sochi as long as his health allows, there shouldn’t even be any doubt about it, but then “maybe Maxim can also skate at one event, team or individual, we’ll ask the ISU for clarification…” At that point, to switch skaters between the team and individual was prohibited by the rules.
But then lo and behold, reports surfaced about how the FFKKR is asking the ISU for “rule clarification” about what to do if a country’s only skater in a discipline gets injured during the team event. Then other rumors appeared about how “Plushenko only wants to do the team competition”, except Plushy or his team never said a word about it in public, as far as I know. The people in the Russian press talking about this were well-known Plushenko haters and proponents of Kovtun. At the same time, the Russian media starts talking about how Plushy should “give way” to the young, that he’s too old, etc.
Then the reports came that the FFKKR is getting the “rule clarification” from the ISU. Tarasova and Piseyev talk about how now it is possible to put one skater in the team competition and another in the individual. Only Alexander Lakernik, vice-chairman of the FFKKR, explained that this is only in the case when the skater in the team competition got injured during it. Non-Russian skating fans started talking about how the Russians/Plushy are going to cheat.
Then RN comes. I won’t deny that Plushy’s LP was….unlike himself. After he was done, a reporter comes up to him in the mixed zone and asks him, point blank, “what will you choose, team or individual”? Plushy said that he would only do the team. BTW, in that same interview, he was also praising Kovtun, saying that he was “very promising”. Later that day, Tatjana Flade (from IFS magazine) and some Russian fans talked to him, and they found out that he was completely wrong about this “rule clarification” that the FFKKR was getting. He thought that now it was possible to just put different skaters in the team and the individual competitions, that it didn’t involve him withdrawing after the team competition due to injury.
He was pretty upset when he found out the truth. But at that same point, he also immediately decided that he wasn’t going to play the rules by pretending to injury when he wasn’t. So he said, then and there, that it’s up to the FFKKR to decide whom to send to Sochi, but if he’s selected, he would try to do both the team and the individual. He repeated this in later interviews, including in a widely reported Jan. 9 interview. Some people in the media—and Tatiana Tarasova—claimed that he’d “suddenly changed his mind”, that he’d given up on going to Sochi after RN and suddenly decided that he wanted to go two weeks after the fact. This is factually false. And I bet Tarasova knew it was false when she said it.
Europeans: yeah, Plushy didn’t go to the Europeans. But he certainly showed signs that he wanted to go. There’s a lot that we don’t know here, let me just say this: the first suggestion that Plushy might not go to the EC came from Kovtun’s coach, and that was after the SP at the RN. Anyways, it was decided that Plushy would have a test skate instead, around the same time.
Anyways, Kovtun went to the Europeans and got fifth, losing to Voronov and Menshov among others. Right then and there, and this was before Plushy’s test skate, Tarasova does another 180, and started saying again that “of course Plushenko should go to Sochi, no need for a test skate, he should go even if Maxim had gotten 1st or 2nd here”. Plushy does his test skate though (on the 21st, three days after the Europeans LP), and that might actually have been the best LP he had this season, techinically, two 4T’s, two 3A’s, 3-5 layout, clean. The committee voted for him unanimously. (Yana said that she has the video of that test skate. I think it may be time for her to make it public.)
People are still talking about how Plushy was planning all along to “be injured” after the team event, so one can imagine how determined he would be to try to skate both events as long as he could. But fate goes and plays another dirty trick. His back really goes bad during the team LP. The deadline to withdraw and have Kovtun come in was on Monday (the day after the team event ended) on 10 AM. Plushy’s back was in pain, he considered withdrawing, and they did at least try to contact Kovtun, except the young man was apparently out of contact. Later, it came out that he was ill. (The “ill” part was confirmed by Piseyev in another interview.) So Plushy decided to carry on. By that point, had he withdrawn, there would have been no replacement made anyway.
On Wednesday, he had a bad fall on a 4T in training (Evan Lysacek, who was watching, tweeted to say how worried he was). Things went from bad to worse from there on, and on Thursday morning, he couldn’t jump. But well, he’s had miracles before, so he went out to the competition in the evening. In the warm-up, he tried two 3A’s. The first one, he felt a knife in his back. The second one, he heard a click and no longer could feel his leg. This was when everything finally, at last, became absolutely clear to him.
As we know, he has a polymer intervertebral disc, four screws, and a clamp in his back. The doctor who performed his surgery is really great, but this kind of procedure and technology simply has never been tested against the kind of impact and pressure involved in jumping triples and quads. In some ways, this whole last year for him was a medical experiment. If he had gone on to skate the SP, there was a real chance that he could take another fall—and never stand up again. Then again, maybe that’s what some people would have liked to see.
I am convinced that if he had withdrawn earlier, some people would have attacked him for “pretending to be injured”. If he had really tried to go on and skate that SP, some people would have attacked him for concealing his injuries and “ego”. By that point, it really wasn’t even about what he would or could do anymore. It was more about the human nature of some others.
tags | and I thought the war would end | Evgeni Plushenko | Maxim Kovtun | Tatiana Tarasova | Russian skating federation | figure skating | plushenko