by Suzanne Davis at . Comments

As if the Sochi Olympics needed another disappointment, Evgeni Plushenko has withdrawn from competition ... and the sport that made him famous.

With his hands on his heart and a brave smile on his face, the figure skating great was escorted off the ice by his coach moments just into his routine.

The announcer told a shocked audience of his decision.

Evgeni Plushenko Olympics Photo

The 31-year-old skater was one of the most anticipated men's competitors of the games.

He had undergone back surgery in 2013 but had spoken hopefully of his recovery and was trying to add another medal to his collection.

He earned a gold medal in 2006, two silvers in 2002 and 2010, and has already won the team gold medal in Sochi this year.

An AP tweet confirms Plushenko has retired from skating entirely.

To see some more Olympians still in competition in Sochi, check out our gallery of hottest athletes.

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