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Plushenko Plans to Quit Politics, Focus on Sport

Published: March 5, 2010 (Issue # 1553)


Yevgeny Plushenko is leaving politics.

Im seriously considering giving up my seat in the city parliament and going back to sports, simply because I am quite good at it, the Russian figure skater, who won the Olympic gold in Turin in 2006 and skated to the Olympic silver medal in Vancouver, told reporters at Pulkovo airport on returning to St. Petersburg from what has been described as Russias most disappointing Olympics in history.

The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, where Plushenko has a seat representing the Just Russia faction, has shown understanding for the sportsman. Oleg Nilov, head of the Just Russia faction in the St. Petersburg assembly, said that the skater must devote himself to a very special mission he must save Russias deteriorating sports from further degradation.

Considering Russias rather, to say the least, uncharacteristic performance at the recent Winter Olympics, Yevgeny Plushenko, as a truly outstanding sportsman and one of the ambassadors of the Sochi-2014 Winter Olympic Games, may be required to fully dedicate himself to sports, Nilov said.

Vadim Tyulpanov, speaker of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, said the parliament would petition the Russian authorities to award Plushenko with an Order of Service to the Fatherland.

We will definitely recommend Yevgeny for the prestigious award; his achievement is heroic, and he fully deserves the order, Tyulpanov said.

The order may not be the only addition to Plushenkos Vancouver silver.

Twenty-six grams of gold have already been collected for a gold medal for the St. Petersburg figure, whose local fans have launched a campaign aimed at collecting gold and producing a peoples medal for their favorite.

Plushenkos hopes of winning a second Olympic gold were dashed at the Vancouver Winter Olympics when he lost to Evan Lysacek of the United States and Russias sports officials refused to back his appeal against what the sportsman called unfair judging. His supporters in St. Petersburg were quick to offer their own solution a medal made of real gold to be presented to the skater by his many Russian admirers.

Dmitry Ilkovsky, chairman of the citys Petrovsky municipal district and one of the leaders of the peoples medal campaign, is proud of the fact that the Russian peoples medal will contain more gold than the Olympic medal.

The peoples medal will weigh 516 grams exactly the same as a real Olympic medal, but the proportion of gold in it will be much higher, Ilkovsky said. The Olympic gold medal has 510 grams of silver and only 6 grams of galvanic gold, whereas ours will have a substantial amount of gold in it, or it might even end up being made entirely of gold.

Ilkovsky said there is no shortage of fans willing to part with their gold rings, earrings and chains. I am getting phone calls all the time, he said, adding that he expects hundreds of people to take part in the initiative.

Ilkovsky has already been in touch with jewelers in Yakutia and with St. Petersburg designers who are creating various designs for the medal.

Three different medals have already been designed, with one of them featuring diamond decorations. The designs will be put on the Internet on Plushenkos fan page on the Vkontakte.ru social networking site, where members will be able to discuss the designs and vote for their favorite.

Plushenko, who has made critical statements questioning the victory of Eva Lysacek, whose performance he branded mere dancing, and criticized the Russian authorities for not standing up for the interests of the countrys sportsmen, has not yet commented on the peoples medal and the collection of gold for its creation.





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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