By Mark Purdy
Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 11:22 pm in Uncategorized.
There are bound to be other candidates, but right now, I would have to say that Evgeni Plushenko, the Russian figure skater, wins the honor of sorest loser of the Vancouver Games.
After finishing second Thursday night to Evan Lysacek in the men’s competition, Plushenko did not exactly wear his silver medal well.
First, he kept the press waiting more than an hour after the competition, blowing the deadlines of even West Coast writers. (I couldn’t get his quotes into my column.)
Then, when he did show up, he basically dissed gold medalist Lysacek and his achievement, as well as the judges who scored the competition.
Plushenko, the defending Olympic champ, had led the competition entering Thursday’s free skate. But he left one scheduled jump out of his routine and wobbled one a couple of his landings. This, plus Lysacek’s dazzling array of spins, cost Plushenko the gold and gave Lycacek his first Olympic podium finish — and the first American gold medal since Brian Boitano’s in 1988.
Let’s just say that Plushenko was not gracious when he was asked his feelings about the whole thing.
“I was positive I won,” he said through an interpreter. “I suppose Evan needs a medal more than I do. Maybe it’s because I already have one.”
And then he held his breath and turned blue.
No, just kidding. But for one night, I was proud that my country was represented by a far classier guy. Lysacek said that Plushenko had “inspired him” as a competitor and congratulated him on his performance.