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Winter Olympic figure skating: Men's short program, Russia’s Plushenko pulls out

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High drama started things off Thursday night in the men’s short program during NBC’s primetime coverage. This skating program was featured last in the telecast due to Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko.

He pulled out of the competition right before skating first in the line-up. Earlier during the skater’s warm-up, he had trouble with the basic jumps. This may have resulted from his extensive back surgeries recently.

After conferring with his coach, Plushenko skated over to the referee to bow out of the competition due to injury. That was the end of a long career, and assisting Russia to win gold in the team event.

If that was not enough, Team USA’s Jeremy Abbott, the U.S. National Champion, was up next. According to the skating commentary from Scott Hamilton, Jeremy excels in competition inside the U.S., but not internationally.

That was certainly the case Thursday. During one of his jumps he crashed right into the wall. For a few seconds, he did not get up. What seemed like eternity, Abbott came around and remarkably got back into the routine as if nothing happened. He had to attempt another jump in the choreography where he landed it perfectly.

After his glowing performance, Abbott stayed on the ice blowing kisses to the standing ovation crowd.

19-year-old Jason Brown from Highland Park, Illinois is fast becoming Team USA’s rising skating star. The NBC commentator stated his trademark ponytail has its own Twitter account.

Jason skated to a composition by Prince. His smile is as big as the ice rink itself. After Brown’s incredible performance, he currently stands at an impressive 6th place.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan made history by receiving a score of 101.45, the first time any skater has ever received a triple-digit score by the judges in a short program.