Skip to content

Ovechkin to be first Russian torchbearer for Sochi Olympics

Sep 26, 2013, 10:53 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

Alex Ovechkin‘s dream to carry the Olympic torch will come true.

The Washington Capitals announced Ovechkin will head to Europe to be the first Russian torchbearer for the 2014 Games in Sochi. The ceremony is set to take place on September 29 in Olympia, Greece. As you might expect, Ovechkin is very excited by the honor.

The date makes things interesting as that’s just two days before the Capitals open the season in Chicago against the Blackhawks. Team owner Ted Leonsis gives Ovechkin full leeway to go and represent his country at the ceremony.

“This is a huge honor and we are so proud, and excited for Alex and his family,” he said. “This is a very special event and we are thrilled that he was recognized for his past achievements and his dedication to his craft and his country.”

For those concerned, yes, he will be back in time for opening night.

As for Ovechkin, he could barely contain himself announcing the honor on Twitter.

  1. ibieiniid - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    congrats OV. I can’t even imagine having the honor.

  2. jb8588 - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Pretty cool for somebody to have that honor, though in the case of Ovi, it always seems that he is more interested in anything to do with his native land than taking care of business in the NHL. Guy shouldn’t be the captain…and Caps will never win a cup as long as he wears that “C”.

    • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      I completely agree. However, if ever he decides to be more team oriented by accepting to be more responsible defensively then they have a chance. Otherwise it it will never happen.

    • jaguar0413 - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      I would highly dispute your claim that he’s always “more interested in anything to with his native land than taking care of business in the NHL.” What exactly has he done to be disloyal to the Caps? He’s one of the most honest, open and accessible stars in the NHL and does a ton of work in the community here in DC. DC and the Caps are lucky to have him.

      Being captain of an NHL team, especially as a European, is not an easy task. Guys like Crosby had it easy because they already had strong leaders in their dressing room. He had the support of Gonchar, Lemieux, Guerin etc. when they won that cup. Ovi has never had that in his dressing room. Knuble was the only veteran guy he could lean on. Now, a guy like Brouwer has a presence but he’s only been on the team for 2 years. There is nobody else who could or should be the Caps captain.

  3. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Huh, you’d think you would want someone who has actually accomplished something in International competition (other than WC, which sort of counts I guess). If Russia’s trying to send a message, all it’s doing is reminding me of the steamrolling the Russkis got in Vancouver.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      I’d like to see you find thousands of Russian athletes who’ve “actually accomplished something in International competition.” yes, there’s thousands of torch runners.

      also, once you typed “other than WC, which sort of counts I guess,” you probably should just deleted what you typed previously and moved on with being an OV-hater in private.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        OV hater? No, but if you’re gonna pick ONE person to symbolically start the torchbearing, why does it have to be someone who’s only won a championship that players only play in once they’re out of the playoffs? I suppose he’s not the guy lighting the actual bowl-thingy at the opening ceremonies, but still…Datsyuk maybe? Some KHLer? Someone who has won an actual Olympic gold (or medal) at some point?

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Besides, Russia sucks and I’m going to unabashedly troll the everloving snot out of them the whole way to and through the Olympics so ya might as well get used to it 😉

      • ibieiniid - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        for the record, I don’t think he’s the first PERSON to carry the torch, he’s the first Russian. I think a Greek is the first overall bearer.

        I’m not disagreeing without knowing your answer to this, but what reason do you have to say Russia sucks in general?

  4. malvaren18 - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Come on Ovechkin I need you to Score at least 50 goals this season, that should be a breeze for a the kind of talent you hold.

    • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      Scoring goals is not his problem. Being more accountable defensively is a huge burden for the team. He needs to improve that aspect of his game. A team is only as strong as it’s weakest link. If he can sacrifice a bit of O to be a better player without the puck then the Caps will be a better team. Think about it. Imagine how the other players would look up to Ov if he would play both ways. That would be a huge moral boost and raise everyone’s game à little.

  5. watermelon1 - Sep 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Okay, but when does Maria Kirilenko carry the torch?

    That’s what we’re all waiting to see! :-)

    • kaptaanamerica - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      when I think of Russia I think beautiful tennis stars and athletes.the run should showcase Russia’s women.

  6. hosewater2 - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Shocked this honor wasn’t bestowed upon Kovalchuk for obvious political reasons.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (2090)
  2. P. Kessel (1290)
  3. M. Richards (1266)
  4. N. Backstrom (1159)
  5. M. Giordano (1010)