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And the Skating World Waits With Cynical, I mean Baited! Breath...

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So, Figure Skating Mystery has brought us a translation of an interview with the president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, Valentin Piseev. The topic? The ongoing story of a figure skating comeback for reigning Olympic Gold Medalist Evgeny Pluschenko. Some important facts: Mr. Pluschenko has lost eight pounds and needs to lose another eight. He is considered a member of the Russian National team. And here is the most important excerpt:

JK – Is the return of Pluschenko imminent?

VP – It is hard to say. I have Evgeny’s individual plan which we discussed back in August when he came in for one of the qualifying performances. He was in good form. His appearance stimulated the performances of the other skaters. He is not practicing every day, but he still could jump a series of triple jumps one after another.

The other thing was that he was supposed to perform in a special program: he was supposed to participate in one of the segments of the Grand Prix. Then we talked about his participation in November at the Cup of Russia in Moscow, but he did not show up for any of these events.

It is not clear if he will be participating in any competitions this season and if he will come back to the big sports at all. When we talked on the phone the last time, Evgeny told me that if he would feel like participating in the competitions, he would just show up at the Championship of Russia. If he would miss this event, he will not be eligible to participate in the European and World Championships. He wants to participate, but he has to drop other shows and businesses and start practicing twice every day, while these days he can practice only a couple of days a week.

So let's break it down. Pluschenko, who isn't really training every day but can still toss out a couple of triples, may just "show up" to the Cup of Russia, even though he's not on the list of competitors. I mean, that is if he can find a way to drop his "businesses" and practice. Oh, yeah, and he's not really sure he even "feels" like it. I can see that it's difficult for a country's figure skating federation to move on from a marketable star. I'm pretty sure that US Figure Skating would be pumped if Michelle Kwan came back to competition, even if she wasn't necessarily competitive with the other skaters anymore. However, these interviews are hilarious! Pluschenko was a forboding presence on the ice, and if he somehow scrounges up the desire to get back out there, he could probably be pretty great. As of right now though, it seems he has other priorities and most of the hype seems to be coming from a few throwaway lines he says every few months about competing again. I hope he calls Required Elements for the exclusive when he gets serious.