In this 2009 photo, Ovi and the rest of the Russian national team pose with Putin.
By all accounts, Alex Ovechkin is enjoying his offseason — really, I mean it, he’s thrilled. And while fellow Russian Semyon Varlamov contemplates his future, the Great Eight has been spending his time club-hopping in Moscow and vacationing in Turkey, a hot spot for Ruskies on their summer holiday. In between all this, however, Ovi found time to talk to Pavel Lysenkov for Argumenti.ru about getting Vladimir Putin’s digits, the Russian press and more.
Below, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has the translation.
Pavel Lysenkov – Is it true that you have direct phone number for Vladimir Putin? Can you call him, as a Sochi Ambassador, and talk about the Olympics?
Alex Ovechkin – Yes. But it’s not his cell phone number, but rather his home phone. I call him often. But Putin is never at home. So far I haven’t managed to talk to him yet! [Laughs]
Yellow Press ruins peoples lives.
Pavel Lysenkov – You have been giving fewer interviews lately. Is it a form of self-defense from criticism?
Alex Ovechkin – What’s there to talk about? It’s the same questions again and again. I could print out the answers and hand them out to reporters. Especially if a jounalist doesn’t like something, he starts twisting the words. Better to stay away from all that. As they say, “nobody pays attention to the fools, don’t be a fool yourself.”
Pavel Lysenkov – Sergey Zinoviev does not give interviews at all.
Alex Ovechkin – I have no intentions of declaring a boycott of the media. But I know when it’s all right to talk and when it’s better to keep silent.
Pavel Lysenkov – But how do you react to the “yellow press?” Like, as we are sitting right now, the paparazzi is taking pictures of us.
Alex Ovechkin – So you will be on their website soon. Is it that bad? So they snapped a photo of me with a girl in a bar. I met her. So now what? Look, there is a guy with two ladies. Ordered a cocktail. So you are going to turn it into a kompromat. Isn’t that ridiculous?
We are all regular people. Some are famous, others are not. To chase stars with a hidden camera is stupid. But some make money on that. And they do not think about breaking up a family. Or even killing a person. Remember Princess Diana? She was killed in Paris when her car was trying to get away from the paparazzi.
“Yellow press” always cares only for itself. They simply do not exist for me.
Trying to have a quiet life.
Pavel Lysenkov – How are you spending your summer? What have you been doing after the Worlds?
Alex Ovechkin – It’s only been a month. I am just relaxing. I will stay in Moscow for awhile. Later I will go to France for five days with Ilya Nikulin.
Pavel Lysenkov – What about your favorite, Turkey?
Alex Ovechkin – Spent five days there already. Quiet hotel, without disco “jaga-jaga.” Just swimming and sleeping.
For more of this interview, check out Alex Ovetjkin.
Additional reporting by Chris Gordon and Ian Oland.