A photo essay.
The Capitals booting from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in early May once again got the summer off to a premature start for the boys in red and their fearless leader. After all, peak season hadn’t even begun on the Vineyard and the lakes remained chilly in the White Mountains. But we RMNB chose not to focus on these grave hardships. No, instead we’re going to fire up the Google Machine and take a look back at Ovi’s summer, which spanned a mere 121 days. Alexander embarked on many adventures including a little shirtless soccer (and what summer is complete without that), a scandal involving his midsection that had “gate” on the end for some ridiculous reason, and commercials for Canadian candy bars, which are like regular candy bars except Canadian.
05/07/11 – Alex Ovechkin Arrives in Slovakia for the World Championships
Three days after the Bolts from the Bay swept the Capitals, the Great Eight hops on an airplane to join Team Russia at the 2011 World Championships, held in the land of Peter Bondra — Slovakia. The Ruskies will attempt to avenge their pitiful Silver Medal from the previous year. Most notably, Ovechkin emerges from the terminal in Vienna wearing his customary Dolce and Gabbana garb, sandals, and pants — over his pants. Yeah, and you thought the Large Hadron Collider was going to cause a black hole.
05/10/11 – Team Russia Ditches Morning Skate and Plays Soccer
Ahead of its quarter-final matchup with their ice-hole arch-rivals Canada, Team Russia assistant coach Igor Zakharkin orders his players to abandon their team’s scheduled morning practice — and their shirts — and instead play soccer at Rapid Stadium in Bratislava. Please note for later reference in this post: Ovechkin doesn’t look fat. Some other folks, however…
05/12/11 – Russia Rallies to Beat Canada, 2-1
Zakharkin’s shirtless soccer game apparently pays off as Ilya Kovalchuk scores in the final minutes of the third period, giving Russia a 2-1 victory. The win comes despite Ovechkin going scoreless for a third straight game. But no one cares about that: Russia’s better than Canada!!! (Except for the whole, you know, being a functional democracy part.)
05/15/11 – Russia Loses in the Bronze Medal Game
Wuh oh! After being shutout, 3-0, by Finland two days earlier, Russia ends the tournament without a medal, losing to the Czech Republic, 7-4. In six World Championship games, the Great Eight goes point-less. He flies home to Russia the next day. The ridiculousness of his pants for this flight will remain a mystery.
06/03/11 – Ovi Guest of Honor at Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Wedding
At the ripe age of 19, Caps’ mega-prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov weds his girlfriend of under a year, Nastya. Ovechkin flies to Chelyabinsk to support Kuznetsov and hangs out in Kuzya’s hometown for four days before departing for home.
06/08/11 – Ovechkin Spotted at Premiere of New Russian Movie
After being surrounded by lovebirds in Chelyabinsk for almost a full week, Ovi brings a lovely lady and his father Mikhail to the movie premiere of “All Inclusive!” There are literally infinite ways to make an awkward joke here, but we’re far too civilized.
06/09/11 – Beers and Hookah
Ovi gets international attention after being spotted in a Russian restaurant consuming hookah, lots of beer, and fried steaks. Sounds fun, and all for the low price of 30,000 rubles (about 1,000 bucks). Now that does seem like a lot, but Ovi also ordered a couple of salads so really it’s quite fair.
06/14/11 – Ovechkin Presents 1,000,000 Rubles to Dynamo Moscow Youth Hockey Program
Alex does the charity thing on behalf of the shaving overlords at Gillette, presenting a check to Dynamo’s youth hockey program for 1,000,000 Rubles.
Date: Unknown – Ovechkin In Da Moscow Clubs
In this photo from one of Moscow’s fine ear drum imploding dance clubs, the captain is shocked by how stupid it is for the woman to be wearing sunglasses indoors.
07/04/11 – Ovi Returns to North America
The Great Eight popped in to the DC area for a jiffy around the Fourth of July, and was spotted at this establishment with John Carlson, a great American icon on his own. No word on whether Carlson slid on one knee and fist pumped in lieu of fireworks.
Around this time, Ovi filmed the (in)famous interview with Mike Vogel from Capitals and mysteriously flew off to the Great White North for a delicious commercial shoot.
07/16/11 – Ovi Shows Up at Maxim Afinogenov’s Wedding
Wedding Number Two: Ovechkin makes the short 5,000 mile over sea drive to Moscow from Arlington to attend the wedding of hockey player Maxim Afinogenov and tennis player Elena Dementieva. The Russian paparazzi claim Ovi brought along a female friend, but all photograph evidence appears to have gone the way of Gaddafi.
07/16/11 – Fat-Gate
Ah, torso-gate, chubby-gate, or maybe even slight-outward-curvature-gate — whatever you want to call it, this was the biggest Ovechkin news of the summer caused by slouching in a big couch that no one will remember in a year.
07/24/11 – Alex Ovechkin Honored with Hat and Burka at Halftime of Russian Soccer Game
What do you get when you mix Alex Ovechkin, a traditional Dagestani burka and papakha, flip flops, and a soccer game? Yeah, we have no idea either, but it looks absolutely ridiculous.
07/29/11 – Alex Ovechkin Endorses Canadian Candy Bar Mr. Big.
“Be big deal like me!”
08/22/11 – First Alex Ovechkin Mr. Big Commerical Drops in Canada
This little gem dropped when Ian was vacationing on the Outer Banks, so naturally we didn’t do anything. But in a line straight out of a motivational poster, Ovechkin tells the viewer to “make impossible possible!”
08/29/11 – Ovi Gets Interviewed by Pavel Lysenkov
Hey look, Ovi’s not fat!
08/29/11 – Ovi in a Rap Video
Ovechkin seems to have a thing for cameos in rap music videos. Or maybe the video makers have a thing for Alex Ovechkin. Either way, can you beat lyrics with a much heartfelt meaning as this?
Alumni of Dynamo
8 on the back.
In the All-Star game all attention is on me.
In the NatTeam since 17
Scored 100 points in a season
Gold medal in Canada in ’08
I’m going to wager this rhymes better in Russian.
08/31/11 – Ovechkin, Kovalchuk Lead Second Annual Charity Game in Russia
Hey look! It’s Alex Ovechkin on the ice and playing hockey. Looks pretty good, eh?
The Russian Machine managed to score four goals and also register an assist. The game ended predictably in an 11-11 tie.
Most importantly, a boatload of money was raised for charity — about 15 million rubles worth to be exact. NHL stars Evgeny Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk also participated.
Is it October yet?
09/02/11 – Ovi Signs Big Money Endorsement Deal with Nike
Late Thursday night, word surfaced that Ovi signed a sponsorship deal with Nike. Yes, the Nike that doesn’t sell anything hockey related. Clearly this is a move to corner the vitally important 25-year-old Russian millionaire whose wardrobe consists mainly of T-shirts given to him market.
09/02/11 – Alex Ovechkin Flies Back to DC
Ian Oland contributed writing, along with fancy graphics and formatting.
Fedor Fedin contributed translating.