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All that remains is the small matter of the Winter Olympics.
In this epic, you can take your pick of religious parallels. Certainly, to judge by the way Twitter lights up when his name is mentioned, he is something of a disciple to the passionate cult of figure skating fans. If, as is sometimes said, sport has replaced religion as the opiate of the people, then Plushenko’s intoxicating epic is prime material for a modern gospel.
In the outside world, true believers eagerly awaited news of the verdict.
Now was the time to decide, to nominate the chosen one.As he spent most of last year injured, Plushenko’s Olympic dream appeared dead, the great skater reduced to a torrid months-long legal battle with a Russian TV commentator who accused him of faking his back problem. It started with a win at a little-regarded event in Latvia against opponents little higher than club level, but it was a start nonetheless.But injury struck again, keeping him out of the Grand Prix in Moscow as Kovtun took silver, seemingly another nail in his older rival’s coffin.Is Plushenko the prodigal son returned to his fatherland? After all, sport needs an audience as much as a religion needs a congregation, and both are packed with obscure rituals, so it’s only natural to look for parallels between them.However, the last chapter of the Plushenko story is not yet written.