The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics figure skating competition is already well underway: Russia has claimed the inaugural 'Team' medal after an inspiring perormance from Evgeni Plushenko, who became the most decorated Olympic skater in the modern era. Plushenko is truly one of the greats of the sport, and has been amazing crowds for years. As we look to the competition in the Men's Program, here are a look at some of the greatest performances in the sport's history.
1. Aleksei Yagudin of Russia skating to 'Winter' by Bond at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake. Alexei Yagudin's performance at the Salt Lake City Olympics was truly inspiring. Skating just days before the skating world was about to be rocked by the scandal in the pairs event, Yagudin eclipsed his rival Evgeni Plushenko to take the gold medal. With inspiring quad-jumps and incredible footwork as well as sublime artistiry, the performance was incredible.
2. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan skating to music from the motion picture La Strada by Nino Rota at the 2010 World Championships in Torino. Daisuke Takahashi is one of the most underrated skaters in the sport. His bronze medal in 2010 was the first medal for Japan in the sport. Yet it was his incredible, flawless performance at the World Championships that showed why Takahashi is truly on of the greats. Soaring across the ice, Takashi was incredible.
3. Evgeni Plushenko of Russia skating to 'The Godfather' Soundtrack at the 2006 Olympics in Torino. Evegeni Plushenko is truly one of the greatest in the sport's history. Undoubtedly he will be one to watch carefully in Sochi - despite being 31 he is still remarkable. And his 2006 gold medal-winning performance shows why. This night, Plushenko was unstoppable.
4. Patrick Chan of Canada skating to 'Concerto de Aranjuez' at the 2012 Canadian Championships in Moncton. Patrick Chan is the favorite to take home gold in Sochi. He disappointed many fans in Vancouver by not being able to claim gold on home soil. However, he has been accumulating every accolade since then, and this winning performance at the Canadian Championships shows exactly why.
5. Brian Boitano of the U.S.A skating to the music of 'Napoleon' at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Brian Boitano is one of the United States' official representatives at the Sochi games. He is undoubtedly one of America's greatest skaters, and the 1988 Winter Olympics were his shining moment. Beating rival Canadian Brian Orsen in the 'battle of the brians' took everything Boitano had. And boy did he have a lot.