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On September 1st, Russia celebrated Knowledge Day. The national holiday marks the end of summer and the return of children to school. The day is marked by celebrations. At the beginning of the day, all the kids, dressed-up in their best clothing, present flowers to their teachers. And to call the kids to their classes an eleventh grader carries a first-grade girl on his shoulders as she rings a bell. It’s cute.

This year, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin helped celebrate the day by visiting St. Petersburg’s boarding school #576 nicknamed Forward, along with sudden KHLer Ilya Kovalchuk and former San Jose Shark Alexei Semenov.

Ovechkin, whose hair is almost completely grey now, signed autographs, shook hands, and hugged a few kids.

He also offered some advice. “Work and don’t pay attention to little things that don’t matter,” Ovechkin said to the SKA blog Hockey Petersburg and translated by Fedor Fedin. “Most importantly, have desire, and everything else will come true.”

At the end of the celebration all first-graders stood for a photo with the hockey players and their first teacher.


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Photo credit: Hockey Petersburg


Photo credit: Hockey Petersburg


Photo credit: Hockey Petersburg


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Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.

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  • JGP

    Oh, this is just like that “Ovi is fat” scandal from a couple summers ago. And by that I mean that his jacket just makes it look like he’s almost completely gray.

  • Yes, it’s 100% the jacket 😀

  • In America we have no anti-gray laws.

  • Manda

    Ovi the Gr(ay)8! I do think the image saturation/resolution may make it whiter than it really is, but we’ll find out for sure in a few moar days at Training Camp!!!

  • Roman Z.

    Oh how long ago it was when I too brought flowers for my teacher for the first day of school back in the old country!

    Nostalgia …

  • PeterHasset’sBoyfriend

    Peter Hasset’s gay-mode on.

  • VeggieTart

    Could be the light.

  • BPThomas

    Hey cousin, want to go bowling?

  • Graham Dumas

    That second photo down of Ovi makes me think he may have an American uncle three or four times removed who makes a living as a sensational character actor.×426.jpg

  • Roman Z.

    Niko? Wait … You’re not Niko!

  • Synjin

    I think he frosted his tips. My mom used to do that… in the 80s.

  • Dark Stranger

    On the grey hair, while it looks grey in some of the pictures, including some of the closeups, in others shown here, the grey does not seem all that significant.

  • elguapo

    I think of all the education that I missed
    But then my homework was never quite like this!
    Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad
    I’m hot for teacher