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Last summer, it was Fatgate. Slouchgate. Whatever. Rumors swirled that Alex Ovechkin had packed on a few pounds. Not like Byfuglien weight, but more than his once lithe frame was used to. We dismissed the scandal, and Ovechkin played perfectly fine, but maybe there was something to it after all.
Speaking with Alexey Karpenko of VTBRussia.ru last month, Ovechkin came clean about his fitness these last few years and what has changed. (Spoiler: it’s Maria.)
Alexey Karpenko: What’s the secret behind your physical training? Not many expected you to look that good during your first few games with Dynamo.
Alex Ovechkin: I changed my attitude towards life completely, understood how I need to prepare myself, what I need to do. In the last offseason, I didn’t have all the stuff I had before.
Alexey Karpenko: Like what?
Alex Ovechkin: Earlier, after the season I came to Moscow, met my friends, we hang out, had a good time, drank sometimes. There was no such stuff this time. I had a clear plan. Since Maria [Kirilenko] played at the London Olympics and prepared for them accordingly, I supported her the whole way. It helped me to stay in shape. It’s safe to say that I had a workout regimen all summer long.
Can’t wait to see how Maria’s influence helps Alex… once he gets back stateside. In the meantime, we’ll have more good stuff from this interview soon.
Translation by Fedor Fedin.