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But on a night of riveting drama, the judges of the men's final free skate gave their verdict by anointing the quad-less Evan Lysacek as the first American Winter Olympic champion since 1988 and relegating Plushenko to the silver medal. Certainly, few in the packed Pacific Coliseum shared his sense of injustice as they rose to salute the American's bravura display, delivered with more elegance and presence than the rather artless, if multi-rotating Russian.
Plushenko's strong performance in the team event brought wide accolades for his determination to overcome injury.
So we figure if we can't watch the world' greatest figure skater perform in the event he wanted most, we should remember him at his best.
Figure skater Evgeni Plushenko is beloved in Russia, by no one more than his wife, Yana Rudkovskaya.
Figure skating at the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb.
9-23, with medals awarded in five different events.
Plushenko was Russia's only men singles skater in Sochi.