My Third Sochi-versary of being a Plushenko Fan

Yeah, I think I’m going to continue doing this every year…
but I’ll try to keep it a little different each year.

I’m going to go further beyond Plushenko this year. Adding some extra details about either the music he’s performing to, other people at the event, and also where my life has gotten to since 2014.
It sounds silly and crazy, but the time I spent getting to know him after he had that career-ending injury, it was ultimately life changing for me.
I’d been so hard on myself and down on myself about my life going nowhere and having the ability to focus on someone else just to be sure they were okay- that was something that helped me in the long run.

I still am very critical and hard on myself. I don’t think I’m going to let that go. But I can at least let it go every once in a while and trust things to fate or God. Everything seems to turn out ok in the end.

With the exception, maybe, of Plushenko’s competitive career. But more on that.

First- Feb 6th- which I will henceforth refer to as my “Moulin Rouge” day.
Because Plushenko skated to “Tango Roxanne” for his short program at Sochi, I take the day to listen to that soundtrack. And I end the day with the performance.
This year, I found a video of the team event short program for multiple people. Jeremy Abbott was one of them. (It’s hard to forget what happened to him at the individual event because it was shortly after the withdrawal).
I also see Yuzuru and Patrick Chan listed, so I’ll probably watch them as well.

Yeah, this was the skate where Plushenko said “and I beat Patrick Chan who is a great skater”
…not as great as Yuzuru, though. By this point, I’m sure he’d agree. Since he and Yuzuru are close friends and Patrick Chan needs more than one quad to satisfy this new system.

But I also have to watch Ashley Wagner’s 2016 Worlds performance where she got silver last year. The best performance of her “Moulin Rouge” program ever.
It’s a medley of the “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” Indian remix, “One day I’ll fly away,” and “The Show Must go on.”
Just wish my soundtrack had “the show must go on”- that’s the one song I really want that’s missing.

I tweeted what skating programs I’d use to celebrate my “Moulin Rouge” day- and Ashley liked it πŸ˜›
OMG!

Ok, as I was…
Plushenko today tweeted an instagam video someone recorded of his “victory lap” after his Tango Roxanne performance. thanking his fans for making it unforgettable.

Still can’t believe that I missed seeing him by 10 minutes… but then I wouldn’t trade all the feelings I had going into the free skate… looking for him after all these years of not liking what he said about Evan Lysachek at Vancouver… wanting to see what I think of his skating, especially since this is his home country.

Anyway- I’ll do his qualifying run for Euros 2012 because I already saw the free skate recently.

It’d be easy to say he did the bare minimum to qualify for this, but knowing he was booked for another left knee surgery shortly after this competition… man, it just shows how human he is. He makes mistakes like everyone else. But somehow, he managed to keep it together for the big event. That mental toughness as the American commentators said about him (I didn’t want to listen again to them say his choreography isn’t brilliant… I just got so lost in it, I didn’t care).

But I’d need Ashley to come in between the two performances. even though hers is the most recent chronologically, I can’t just overdo it with Plushenko. I won’t be able to stop once I get started even though I have this all planned out.

It was so worth watching Ashley skate this performance again- it was so close to perfect at the Worlds in Boston. I was so happy for her and just getting emotional again when she finds out she won silver.
That was the best feeling in the world last year.
Especially after Yuzuru failed to win- giving it away in his free skate.
I found most of my favorite skaters at Sochi and Ashley will always be near the top. I think she was even better than she was at Sochi- not just with the technique, but more sass and confidence. She believes she can do it, so I believe even more that she can.

Ok… now to revisit Tango Roxanne one final time. Not even going to read the comment section because I’m sure there’ll be plenty of negativity. Focused more on Medvedeva, probably.

WOW!!

I mean, I saw this every time I watch this… but again, WOW!!
The last time I saw professional footage of this performance was in 2014- when NBC sports was showing the encore of the figure skating performances, so I saw this and his free skate a couple of times that year beyond YouTube.

I always go in with the mindset that this is the first time I’m seeing him. And I don’t know what to expect, but with his representation, I expect to be impressed.
Had I seen this first, I would have run to YouTube and binge-watched him until he performed next. That was just so exciting to watch. There was nothing in the world for those 3 minutes except for me watching him.
The triple axel was the only tricky spot- and it reminded me of how he landed it at Vancouver. It wasn’t a clean landing, but he held onto it.
And the one thing I can nitpick is that he did all of his jumps in the first 30 seconds. Which is something he always did. But with the new system with the 10% bonus to jumps in the 2nd half of the program, everyone would take advantage of that and he didn’t.
It’s hard to remember he’s human here because he was so damn good. I can’t say it enough.

I don’t think I want to watch anyone after that honestly πŸ˜›
and sadly I really don’t have the time to do it. Even though these are short programs, if I want to watch Jeremy Abbott, Patrick Chan and Yuzuru, that’ll take up 12 minutes. And I need to get up early in the morning.

And I don’t want my parents to get on my case about being on my laptop past 11pm πŸ˜›

I just feel bad that I can only watch this once a year πŸ˜› if I watch it too much, I’m afraid the magic’s going to disappear. And with Plushenko I want to hold onto that as much as I can.

Now we’re at February 9th.
Now I have some free time to watch those short programs from the team event I said I was going to.
Plus, it snowed. I scheduled a day off today when I came in yesterday because there was no way I was driving in this. Done shoveling and I just want to chill.

Joshua Farris tweeted out yesterday that he was making a comeback. Which is great because he did so great with “Give Me Love” for his short program a couple years ago. He lost a whole season after getting a concussion in practice a year ago.
I dreamt that Jeremy Abbott tweeted something similar, that he’d be coming back as well.
Considering how the Sochi games went for him, I would love for him to have a second chance as well.

But anyway, there’s my Segway [I don’t care if that’s the wrong version of that word, lol]
to those three skaters I wanted to see.
And yeah, I think I’ll revisit Tango Roxanne… again… I almost said Tango Amore, lol
So amazing to hear the crowd so excited to see him.

Won’t go on too much cuz I say the same stuff about him all the time.
But I will say I didn’t get totally invested until halfway through when the showmanship started coming out. The jumps were impressive the first time, but the 2nd time seeing them this week… they’re not as impressive just because a lot of people can jump like that now. It’s the showmanship that makes him special. What made me feel in love in the first place.

Now to Jeremy Abbott… I felt so bad that he had to follow Plushenko twice… he’s so good in this atmostphere that NOBODY can directly follow that. It’s just impossible.
I vaguely remember he fell in the exact same spot both times, but the 2nd was more dramatic with everything that was going on that day.

Yeah, he fell same exact spot. He then had a lutz, toe loop combination that looked a tad off and an axel he doubled. He looked like he was working hard to sell the program, but it was clear he was a little off with the mistakes. What I’ve seen of Jeremy in his career- he’s very inconsistent with his jumps where I can constantly holding my breath about whether he’d land on them well. His artistry is his strongest asset, but he has to be invested for it to work. I didn’t quite feel it. But with what he was up against, who can blame him?
ouch, the disappointment was hard to watch him in the kiss & cry when the scores came up. Great artistry mark of 39 but 27 for technical isn’t going to cut it.

okay now for Patrick Chan
seriously, I did like him at Sochi and wanted him to medal because Canadian men never have that ability to win gold (Elvis Stojko, I’m still disappointed he didn’t win but with the injury and such, he was lucky to medal at all). But I liked Yuzuru so damn much, I mentally jinxed Javier Fernandez because I could see him as someone who could overtake people to get a medal in the end. He finished 4th. I distinctly remember that.

His one mistake was falling out of an axel jump. A very smooth program. The transitions were better. Stronger more diverse spins for sure. (Plushenko does a lot of the same spins, so that doesn’t set him apart for me from other skaters… that’s probably the only negative I can take away from his style besides the jumps not being balanced throughout the program). But the style doesn’t grab me or leave an impression.

hmm… 48/43 vs. 44/45… Patrick Chan beat him on the components score. Which I can see… but if you were to break that down further, Plushenko has to have the edge on performance and interpretation. No doubt in my mind.
Even in Russia, he still beat Patrick Chan by only 2 points and it came down to landing his jumps much stronger.
If this was in Canada, the scoring would be a lot different. They were pretty hard on Plushenko in the Vancouver Olympics even when he was one of the few did quads.

Okay, now for Yuzuru… this gonna be good.
He was the reason I kept a close eye on the Japanese team. Although none were nearly as good as him.
Ah, I saw Yana in the audience πŸ˜› strange they didn’t focus on her at all when Plushenko skated, before or after he performed.

They showed Plushenko before her. And he looked like he was questioning something and someone behind him gave him a congratulatory shake. I think he asked if he actually beat Patrick Chan. Which goes back to the comment I referenced earlier. Yana looked kinda of emotional… I wonder why.

Ok, NOW for Yuzuru
he made that look so effortless. His program was the smartest for sure. He planned two jumps (including the combination) for the 2nd half so he took advantage of the system better than anyone. Most of us were seeing him for the first time ever, so of course we were very impressed with him and knew he’d be one to watch. I just had no idea he’d be the one to set the new world record for men’s skating… twice within a couple weeks!
That’s pretty amazing…
he beat Plushenko on that alone… his technical score beat him by roughly 4 points. And that was the difference that put him in the lead.
but it was his individual short program that’d be the first of his record setting performances. First to break 100 in the short program.

maybe I should watch Yulia Lipnitskaya really quick because she was also the talk of the Sochi Olympics. And sadly it was talk that wound up bringing her down to a point where she may never recover. Plus it’s too damn competitive in Russian women’s skating.

of the men’s free skates, I only want to see Kevin Reynolds and Jason Brown in addition to Plushenko…

but first, Yulia.
and then later, maybe Ashley Wagner and Adelina Sotnikova

oh, Ashley was in the short program… (oh wow, I didn’t know Kaetlyn Osmond was at Sochi… but then I was so focused on certain skaters πŸ˜› I don’t have room in my mind for everyone)
Mao Asada I remember her having a tough time at Sochi.
I think this video has Canadian commentators. I know Kurt Browning is the guy.

Ashley comes up first. first time I saw her ever.
I don’t know if it was her being the underdog in all this, but there was something about her I really liked. I remember this music- “Shine on you crazy diamond” by Pink Floyd. It worked so well with her costume.
I remember her having issues with under rotations way back when. Now, it’s not as often she has that problem.

also kinda great to see Ashley and Yuzuru hadn’t changed their coaches in these years because whatever they’re doing, it’s working well.

Yulia, for sure, is up next now.
wow- she was unbelievably good back then. The commentators said she had issues with a concussion and the fact she grew. But she proved doubters wrong with this. I hope she’ll be able to do that again, but first she needs to heal from the latest injury she had.

next Mao Asada
she’s one of the last of the old class of women’s skating. traditional classical music and subtle beauty, but no major spark like what Ashley has brought into the sport.
she got her feet tangled on her triple axel, but the rest of the program was so great. I’ve seen a lot of mistakes by her over the years, but when she’s on, she’s amazing to watch.

really hate the comments are saying how the Russians cheated at Sochi… even worse how people can’t let it go that Adelina beat Yuna-Kim to the point they’re investigating her.

seriously, in skating, cheating may help you make the higher bigger jumps but they don’t guarantee you won’t fall. true or not, it shouldn’t make a difference in the end result.

but then if it wasn’t for Plushenko and the fact these games were in his home country, I wouldn’t be so mad about all the criticism.
I pray to God that Russia won’t be banned for the next Olympics. the athletes train their whole lives for this where if they can’t get there, it’s a death of sorts. Most of them have nothing but this.

I’ll take a break and then I’ll revisit the free skates later in the day.

Just saying good thing he’ll be last of the guys I’m watching because nobody will be able to follow him.
Phew… can’t wait to revisit this. It was the very first time I saw him skate (that I could remember… I knew he was at Vancouver by this point in time but my memory of his actual performance there was completely gone… heck, I didn’t even remember Evan Lysachek’s performance. Just who won first and second that day) and it was something I’ll never forget.
Even if I wasn’t reviewing it every year since the Sochi games ended. Must say it’s been fun watching skating while there’s all this snow on the ground. I think it snowed a bit in 2014 around this time, so it was a good way to keep my mind off the snow. Or just the way I felt at the time, which was not good about myself.

according to the Internet, we had a high of 21Β° on February 9th and it was sunny at the ending I was watching this unfold live. and February 13th, that fateful day, it was snowing.
wow- there’s one forecast I found that said we got 19.6 inches of snow.
I definitely don’t remember shoveling that day… if I did, I was in a complete daze through it with what had just happened.

But now I need to go back to February 9th. The 13th can wait. [it’s kinda messed up how hung up I am on that day when something bad happened and a lot worse could have and luckily didn’t]

there’s a “fluff” piece about Plushenko but with it being in Russian, who knows how much I’ll be able to piece together… I luck out sometimes when I read Russian, but my listening ability is hit and mostly miss.
the commentator was talking over him the whole time so I had no idea what was said. Maybe if I could hear him I’d be able to pick out more words. His voice being so familiar, I mean.
But it was just him dressed in black at center ice, doing various movements including a straight spin with ice everywhere. They made him look like such a rock star. And in Russia, he’s the closest thing to a rock star they have, I think. A National Treasure! And that’s where a lot of that perception I had of him early on comes from. I mean, the impression he left me with was him being upset at getting silver at the last Olympics. As if he thought he was the best in the world and to lose was impossible. Not to mention he put so much emphasis on the quad when I really didn’t understand why that was a big deal. Now because of him, that is something that sets a standard for men’s skating. A benchmark. I’m more likely to take someone seriously if they have a quad and even more when they have that and are great at performing.

I can’t help but think “what was he thinking” while he was doing the warm-up. Knowing what I know now. Was he in pain at all yet? Was he nervous about helping his team get the win?
Does Evgeni Plushenko ever get nervous? He seems like someone with ice in their veins when they compete.

Anyway, now to the other skaters.
Starting with Jason Brown and his trademark Riverdance routine that went viral. That even Plushenko was impressed with. I wonder what he thinks of Jason now- when he’s trying to add the quad, but not quite getting it. Does he still think Patrick Chan is a great skater? Or does he prefer Yuzuru and Shoma?
I still am hoping to hear him say someday soon that he’s impressed with Nathan Chen with the number of quads he has.

wow- I mean, not as perfect as his US Nationals performance, but it was pretty amazing to watch that Riverdance program again. I wish Jason brought back another exciting program like this. Most of his work since has been pretty emotional and artistic. I want something dynamic again.
And I heard the crowd cheering afterwards. Not sure how much of it was beyond just team USA, though.
Russia gets a lot of criticism of only supporting their own skaters. Plushenko proves that’s not true. He’s expressed how he’s liked some skaters from Japan, Javier Fernandez and Jason Brown.
He only had one fall and it was on a three jump combination that ends with a triple salchow.

Kevin Reynolds- my mom called him Peter Pan because of his red hair. But there was something about him that stood out. I hope with this latest comeback from injury he can make a good impact. Canada can’t be supported by Patrick Chan forever (overscoring or not). Just like Plushenko can’t support Russian men’s skating forever- although that moment came sooner than a lot of us would have hoped.
He had a mistake on one jump where it looked like he turned out of it on the ground. But great all around. I think 2 quads based on the commentary. The crowd just started cheering- but I think because Plushenko is following him, lol.
Great extensions, his choreography is more expressive. Patrick Chan has just had the fortune that he hasn’t suffered as many injuries. Otherwise Kevin Reynolds would be Canada’s top male skater.

omg- I figured I’d click on the solo video of Plushenko’s free skate to see if maybe it had Johnny and Tara’s commentary… I think it’s the British commentary one I’d already seen a bunch of times. So I will go back to the main video.
It’s kinda annoying that most of the comments are “Yuri on Ice” fans… but then I started seeing comments of people saying how impressed they were and that they were curious about who inspired Viktor. Hey, anything that gets people excited about him, I’ll take it.
Then there’s the one person who says he’s overscored and there’s no program. But then the American commentators said the same about his “Godfather” program… he has a special style and none of those guys seem to get that… really annoys me. Especially when others have substance but lack style but get scores just as high.

I’m not great with scoring free programs. With short programs, I’m knowledgeable enough to know when a program is an 80 or 90 point program. But free skates have more variables. 8 jumping passes, 3 spins and two sets of footwork. And I don’t know what a good free skate score is because I’m so busy looking at what the total score is. I’ve never looked at the free skate score on its own.
But to give myself some perspective- Kevin Reynolds turned out of a jump and had some quads. His score was almost 168.

Although now that I think about it… I’ve seen Plushenko get free skate scores of 80/80. So the baseline of a good free skate is 160 points. But considering Yuzuru has broken 300 with a short program over 100… I think his world record was 323 when his short program was 110. Which means he had a free skate of more than 210 points.
The difference is mind-blowing.
But then Plushenko spent much of his career only landing one quad per program. Back in 2002-2003, he had two quads in his programs. I guess that’s when the groin injury happened and when the knee injuries started stacking up.

I think first… again, delaying this because… well, nobody can follow him. He’s gotta be the last person I see skate tonight.
So I’m going to watch Yulia Lipnitskaya at the very least.
I remember liking Valentina from Italy so I might watch her too. And I guess Gracie Gold- even though she doesn’t grab me artistically.

…I’m so glad I watched that. That was so beautiful. Her skating fit with the timing of the music so well and the music was a great fit. I hated “Firebird” on her (I think I just hate the piece in general because I don’t like anyone when they skate to it). I’ve wanted to see her do sass like Ashley is so good at. But she needs something like what Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” did for her. Oddly enough, I made that comment early about not liking old traditional music and prefer something fresh.
This almost seemed like an old piece but she made it look refreshing.
Maybe it’s just the atmosphere- her and Ashley being on the same team opposed to competing. That was typically when I get on her case and judge her more harshly. Or just say again “I don’t get it.”
But at least I can bring myself to enjoy her every once in a while. Patrick Chan- I doubt I’ll be able to because I’d developed a bond with nearly every other skater on the men’s side.

Okay, Valentina Marchei.
oh whoa, I saw Putin in the audience… but then I knew he was super invested in this particular competition.

Sultry confidence. There was just this spark about her energy I loved. Too bad she’s since retired.

Lastly, Yulia in her iconic “Schindler’s List” program.
and I saw Plushenko sitting in the team Russia box. I didn’t see much of him there the days when he was competing.
He was congratulating her afterwards.

Yeah, the audience response to her was a huge difference from all of the other skaters. But seriously, one of the best skating performances in history of anything. I could nitpick technically (it wasn’t as obscenely perfect as I thought it was), but stylistically and emotionally… phew…
I mean when I saw her at Sochi, I thought she was too perfect and with how things went so badly for her after that… I am mortified that I might have jinxed her by wishing she wasn’t so perfect that it’s something she might never get back.
I keep hoping that she will, but each time I see her, it seems less likely. Not with all the mistakes she makes and how the rest of the competition stacks up.

Okay, enough dawdling. Plushenko’s free skate for the team event. This time with Russian commentary. I’m kinda sick of the British commentary because I saw it a few times before. I need different commentary sometimes just to shake things especially.
Especially then it was this monumental. The performance that made me a Plushenko fangirl forever… and so much more.
He just edged out Kevin Reynolds thanks to his components score. Kevin had 89 for technical and Plushenko had 81. Meanwhile, Plushenko got 86 for components score and Kevin got 78.
He definitely got a buff from interpretation of his music- which is hard not to considering it’s all the music he’s skate to over the years. At the time, I had no idea or thought about what it meant that his music was “The best of Plushenko”- I didn’t see any of his programs before this so I had no reference point.

I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore… I think my mind got scrambled a bit because I had to watch Tango Roxanne again. When I saw this free program the first time, it was the first time for me seeing him. My expectations were high because of his reputation. But I had no idea the kind of performer he was. How he likes to play for the crowd. I’d never seen that before with really anyone. But then I hadn’t watched much of skating before Sochi. I’d watch it occasionally, but I was never serious about it. Not like I am now and have been for 3 years.

Anyway, this was like watching another Plushenko performance. Knowing what to expect. I see certain shots of it and go back to my montage and all the scenes I used. I used more than I realized.
The music, each piece I recognized from all the times I’d watched him… I got excited for each time. Then there were points where I was starting to lose it a bit and reeled myself back in because there was still more to watch.
No more words…

so, it’s the long wait until the 13th. I remember how I waited all week for the possibility of him competing again. Back then it was uncertain. And I was ready for anything- whether he’d show up or not.
Happy that he did… but then… things happened.
Now I have the video to rewatch how NBC handle it. Sadly, it has the fluff piece, which means it’s the evening edition of the individual short program- which does not Johnny and Tara’s commentary. And considering how I saw it early in the day, I found it a little insensitive that they’d known about this for hours, but they put this little piece about him in anyway, only to disappoint everyone who hadn’t seen it yet with the fact he wouldn’t be able to compete at all. Despite how much he wanted to, his body was beyond the ability to do so. And he wisely chose to withdraw before any more damage could be done.


okay, it’s finally February 13th… I feel bad that I make a note of this day every year because of this… not to mention the 13th day of every month, I almost always listen to that one Depeche Mode song from my first montage.
I don’t think Plushenko even looks back on this particular date and regrets how everything happened. He keeps too busy for that, but clearly I don’t…
although today, while I did listen to a lot of the songs I listen to when I want to daydream about him skating, some of it was spent on a podcast about Prince’s first album, which I just posted a discussion of the other day.

But it’s back to business.

I said to myself I’d try to have a playlist ready of all the songs that kinda remind me of Plushenko, but I have a lot of songs and it’s hard to decide what order to put them in because I really want to use it to tell the story of how I became a fan and how it felt watching him skate the first time and also what today 3 years ago felt like. I was thinking about it all day because I wrote a Facebook status about it. And then I dreamt about him a couple days later because I just couldn’t get him out of my head. I had to follow his news handle on Twitter so I could keep up and see how he was feeling.
He’s the reason I’m as active on Twitter as I am. Although I have been less active lately.

I guess I’ll start with a video I’d been saving to watch for this day.
It’s a fluff piece that NBC did of him in their primetime coverage- which I found to be in poor taste because they knew for hours now that he wasn’t going to compete… way to break my heart all over again.
Then after will be the usual interviews- but I think I’ll watch Jeremy Abbott and Yuzuru and how they did that day. There were a lot of ups and downs. I think Yuzuru was one of the few completely clean performances. As if Plushenko’s ghost was haunting the arena and causing all the other skaters to make mistakes. It was kinda scary, actually. (All the cynics would say it’s because the Russians fled the arena because their one guy on the Olympic team couldn’t compete so why stick around… enough of the crowd was left behind, certainly, because they cheered Jeremy back onto his feet after he took a bad spill on the ice only minutes after Plushenko withdrew).

omg- I’m so nervous to watch this… I think I barely watched it the first time cuz I was kinda of a wreck. Not crying my eyes out or anything, but my heart felt pangs of pain.
[Had to pause for a while because a few distractions came up…]. I got through parts where he was saying how it’s a different atmosphere and there’s more pressure this time around. Then there’s all the talk of it being his last Olympics and how he defied the odds with how well he competed in the team event.
Wow… I take that for granted a lot… although this time of year, I always find room to remember.

I had to watch the video from the very beginning to the end to really bring myself back.
And it broke my heart all over again. I know the results of this, but still wanted so badly to see him skate again after only seeing him the one time. But seeing the pain he was going through… I just felt so bad for him. I know how badly he wanted this. Almost started crying.

I think I need to remind myself of this every year. Remind me that he is human and to not take for granted his talent but also why it was so important for me to try to reach out of him on Twitter and YouTube and show my support for whatever happens in his life and his career.
Visiting all of his performances and just picturing him skate while listening to music. I forget that this is a real person sometimes- a person who lives his own life and I don’t personally know him. But going through so much with him these past three years, I do feel a familiarity with him. He feels like a good friend and someone I just look up to as a person.

Part of my feelings are selfish, though. Wanting to see him skate despite the injuries. But back then, I didn’t know the extent of injuries and surgeries he’s had.
Anyway… off to the interviews. CNN and NBC.
I remember being so awed about how good he was speaking English. And that still wows me to hear him speak so well. But I’m as amazed with myself when I can understand him speaking Russian… I had subtitles in part of that “fluff” piece I watched and I understood what I was hearing.

I don’t think there is a video of Jeremy Abbott’s short program. Apparently his fall was a popular search, which is kinda unfortunate. I type in Plushenko and “withdrawal” doesn’t come up right away in the search results. I guess because he has so many more highlights at Sochi.

Anyway… I guess I’ll watch Yuzuru and move onto the NBC interview and my montage.
lol- the Yuri on Ice comments are on this video too πŸ˜›
they’re everywhere!

I remember being so miserable about Plushenko throughout the day- I don’t know if I recovered until Yuzuru skated. He was someone I was looking the most forward to seeing again. And he made it look so easy that I was able to forget my grief for a little while.
The crowd reception was huge for him, after he skated and when his score came out. Hard to believe he broke that record for the short program at least 2 times since then.
He’s competing at Four Continents this week and best of luck to him for sure.

Okay, now the NBC interview… this was a really good one because I really got to hear from him about the actual injury. It wasn’t really addressed with CNN- they were a little too busy promoting their own agendas- asking about Putin and also trying to recruit him to promote gay rights in Russia.
He’s found plenty of other great things to use his image and profile to promote. Things that are less controversial. And that will include, now, opening his school of figure skating. He talked about it in an exit interview with NBC (it was all with a translator) and it took three years to happen, but good for him. I hope it is a big success and remains open for many years.

I don’t know if he’s read any of my tweets, but I feel like I always send the same boring tweet to him every year on this day. Saying I hope he is well and stays healthy and is happy. It’s all I really can ask for.

Also want to mention: this is the first time in a while I’m writing exclusively about Plushenko. And it’s the first time since one of the people who worked for his Twitter news handles passed away. Cekoni was her personal Twitter handle and her real name was Svetlana. I got the news about her on Thanksgiving and it made the day kinda sad. She’s one of Plushenko’s biggest fans and supporters and he gave such a touching tweet about her in response to the news. She helped me feel welcome in his fan community when I was brand new to it and replied to my questions and retweeted me a few times. That meant a lot. Like I was part of something important- especially when that something was supporting Plushenko when he wasn’t well and helped him get better.

After watching my “Precious” montage (I think I’m up to 420 views… 418… I was at 417 for a long time… I’m amazed “Magic” hasn’t caught up yet. The subject matter is a lot more pleasant to deal with. Less tragic. But it was also out longer. And maybe my editing job was just better the first time)… after watching, I’ll write down my playlist and try to get them in a good order.

Wow… yeah, I had a really good storyline in that. It’s heart-breaking, but I get to see him heal before my eyes too. Along with footage from other Olympics and old step sequences and such- the chorus had the milestones. The injury, the first skate after surgery, the first exhibition after surgery, ending with the first triple toe loop, first jump after surgery.
I had no jumps after the triple axel where he stepped out and the screw broke in his back.

So… I guess here’s the playlist…

1. People are People- Depeche Mode- (my wondering about why he was unhappy with silver at Vancouver)
2. Walking in my Shoes- Depeche Mode- (him saying that you need to look at his perspective to understand… not just Vancouver, but also things that happened in Sochi)
3. Chemicals React- Aly & AJ (my reaction as he’s skating… being in awe of him)
4. Something More- Aly & AJ (my reaction to him after seeing him skate for the first time- Sochi team event free program- little did I know what this would turn into)
5. Hymn for the Weekend- Coldplay (the Seeb remix version… there was an exhilaration of being entertained by him)
6. Precious- Depeche Mode (reacting to his injury and withdrawal)
7. Masterpiece- Madonna (someone did a montage with this- never heard this song before, but two lyrics fit him so well- “from the moment I first saw you, all the darkness turned to light” and “honestly it can’t be fun to always be the chosen one”
8. Never Far Behind- Aly & AJ (wanting to be there to support him- I also recorded a YouTube video wishing him luck with his surgery, fitting the lyric “I am sending you a message”- still don’t know if he personally saw the video, but I felt like I had to say something)
9. Always In My Head- Coldplay (how he was on my mind a lot after the events of February 13th)
10. Crazy- Seal (he performed this at an exhibition Plushenko skated at)
11. I get Weak- Belinda Carlisle (the chorus is full of lyrics that fit how I feel when I watch him skate)
12. Sky Full of Stars- Coldplay (I was thinking of doing a montage with this as well and I still might- I want to make it more energetic than “Magic”- which was full of subtle, beautiful moments)
13. Β It was always you- Maroon 5 (the pacing of the music fit his skating so well- I might use it for a future montage… also some other Coldplay songs… I’m working on one now, but I’m still not ready to post it. Not confident enough yet)
14. Magic- Coldplay (my 2nd montage- I felt like I had this later in the playlist cuz of the lyric- “after all that we’ve been through, do you believe in magic, yes I do, yes I do”)
15. Shine- Aly & AJ
16. I love you always forever- Donna Lewis

I may add changes later on, but this is basically it in a nutshell.
Some of these I play so regularly on my iPod, I should probably put them on a playlist so I have them all in one place.

I’ll send out my tweet and call it a day.

Whether or not Plushenko will compete at next year’s Olympics… it seems VERY unlikely… it doesn’t sound like he is being considered by Russia for the team. He’s been busy with his skating shows (Snow King and Nutcracker) and working on opening his school… plus, so many skaters are surpassing him with the amount of quads when he is barely able to do one anymore. It’s led to injuries.

Shortly after my last Sochi-versary post, he announced that he needed another surgery. And it was a harsh reality. I had to start to accept maybe my dream to see him compete again may not come true. I put a lot of energy into hoping he could do this next Olympics because that’s what he wanted.
But I don’t want him to risk his health anymore. And I don’t want to pressure him to do it if he has a new dream now.
Everyone is free to change their mind. Especially Evgeni Plushenko.

With or without him, this time next year, I will be talking about the upcoming Olympics. Sochi is a tough competition to live up to.
At this point, with all the cheating accusations, I just pray so badly that Russia won’t be banned from competing entirely. Forget the summer Olympics, the winter Olympics is everything to them.

As for me… yeah, shortly after Sochi, my own life finally had a break through after a long time of no successes. I got a job after three hard years of interviews.
And it was a temporary job that became a full-time job last summer. Other than the days I have to be driving through snow, it’s been great.
And that’s the same job I need to get some sleep to be awake for now.

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