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Four days after being praised as a hero for helping Russia win its first gold at the Sochi Olympics, Evgeni Plushenko Friday was taking criticism for dropping out of the men's figure skating.Plushenko was Russia's only men's singles skater in Sochi.The choice of Plushenko as the sole Russian man was debatable. Although he was the dominant skater the past 15 years, with an Olympic gold and two silvers before coming to Sochi, he is 31 years old and underwent back surgery a year ago. Alexei Urmanov, the 1994 gold medalist, said Plushenko's hubris backfired.To some politicians, Plushenko's withdrawal was a blow to Russia's national pride.
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