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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

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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