Sunday, February 16, 2014


There is a time, after great preparation, study, practice, and drive when we are on center stage.

Perhaps we are cooking for our in-laws.
Going for the treasured job interview.
Taking the Bar exam.
Giving birth.

Some events take a life time of preparation, others moments. 

Late week, Russian skater Evgeni Plushenko made a decision. 

He'd skated early in the week as part of the Russian skating team and helped his country earn a gold medal.

Plushenko worked through many injuries during the course of his training and endured many surgeries including having a synthetic disk placed in his back. He worked hard during rehabilitation and won the hearts of the audience and judges during the team skating competition.

But later in the week, while warming up for the men's single skating program, he did a triple axle, fell, and felt pain surge in his back. He'd fallen several times during the practice each time experiencing the back pain. According to NBC sports, he knew then he would be unable to compete. Plushenko received immediate assistance and was encouraged to go out that evening and skate for his country. He had only a short time to consider what to do.

The decision weighed heavy on him even to the moment his name was called and he skated out on the ice. The crowd cheered, filling the stadium with the sound of their applause and anticipation of his performance. 

Plushenko waved to the people and bowed in gratitude. He smiled and waved again. At that moment he made his decision. He skated to the judges table and withdrew from the competition, citing he was retiring. 

He later said to an AP reporter, "I think it's God saying, 'Evgeni, enough, enough with skating. Age, it's OK. But I have 12 surgeries. I'd like to be healthy."

I can't help but have tremendous respect for this man who had already won a gold in this 2014 Olympics, and two silver medals and a gold in previous Olympic games.

At thirty-one he demonstrated great wisdom. He'd proven his skill; he'd used his talents for his country, and now he wisely realized his health needed his focus.

What bothers me is the insensitivity of those who have their priorities in the wrong place. Take this news report: "Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko withdrew with back pain to deprive the host nation of one of its most anticipated moments at the Sochi Olympics..." Bloomberg News at

Seriously? Would they rather he had fallen in front of his countrymen who have great respect for him and end up having to be carted out on a stretcher?

Plusheko said to ABC News, "I almost cried because it's hard, believe me. This is [the] end of my career but I try to make best. I am normal people like you. I'm not robot. I try my best and I try to go 'til the end."

I feel he deserves a standing ovation for his decision. He didn't have a choice in the timing. But he did have the choice to be wise.

Kudos, Plusheko. You have become a great example to others.

Obviously I have shown my opinion. 
This is an open forum.
What do you think about Plusheko's decision to retire seconds before his performance?

Resources February 13, 2014: 
NBC Sports, 
ABC News, 
Bloomberg News

This post is brought to you by the one-word: Wisdom


Connie Porter Saunders said...

I think that Mr. Plusheko showed great courage when he decided not to skate. Many non-athletes tend to put immense pressure and unrealistic expectations on the people who have been given the talent and the drive to exceed. I am not an athlete but I have realized that my strength and agility aren't as great as they once were. No, I am not giving up. Just realizing that while age does lesson some abilities it also enhances others and hopefully WISDOM is greatly increased! Kudos to Plusheko. I hope he can enjoy a happy and healthy retirement.
Thanks, Mary. As always, you have made me think!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I probably should have said "the drive to excel and succeed".

Janice said...

My thoughts align with yours, Mary, on his decision. He has honored God with his choice.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you, Connie.
And I think you're right, Plusheko is not giving up by any means. The doors are wide open for his talents!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Janice. :)