Evgeni Plushenko was unhappy at losing the gold medal to Evan Lysacek in the men’s figure skating at the Vancouver Olympics. He was a classic sore loser about it.
When Plushenko skated out for the medal ceremony, he shook the hand of bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, then hopped onto the podium — in the gold medal winner’s position. He then walked down to the silver level. The crowd let out a collective “oooooooo,” and the camera focused in on Plushenko’s face. He was not abashed. He was sending a message.
Plushenko won gold at the last Olympics and then retired. He came out of retirement a few months ago, thinking he would easily reclaim the top of the podium. When it didn’t happen, he got snarky about it. Apparently all Russia thinks they’ve been robbed by the Americans on this. The irony here is it was Russian cheating at a prior Olympics that led to the new scoring system Lysacek tailored his program to. Under the old system, Plushenko would have won in Vancouver. He’s mad now. Honor, nationalism and ego at work.
In our home we’ve been amused at Plushenko’s silliness. But to be honest, there are times when I too am disappointed not to stand on the gold medal podium. I want to be the center of attention, but life reminds me I am not — or rather, I am one center among a multitude of centers.