Former Olympic figure skating champion Yevgeny Plushenko is still determined to compete at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics despite the indefinite ban imposed on him last month.
The Russian was banned by the International Skating Union (ISU) for skipping the world championships through injury but then appearing without permission in lucrative exhibitions.
“I would like to skate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, that’s my goal and my dream,” the 27-year-old three-time world champion told reporters yesterday.
“I’m going to compete in an ISU event in October in Japan. That’s my first step and then you will see,” he said.
Plushenko is in Beijing to take part in a gala today to celebrate the wedding of China’s Olympic champion figure skaters Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.
His compatriot and fellow former Olympic champion Alexei Yagudin is also taking part and said he hoped Plushenko would be able to skate in Sochi.
“From 2002 to 2006, Russian skaters won a lot of events,” the 2002 Olympic champion said. “But right now it’s really bad, and we basically see Russian skaters in major events win pretty much nothing except Yevgeny.”
“In my opinion, our only hope for winning a medal at the 2014 Winter Games is if Yevgeny returns,” Yagudin said.