ovi-torch

Photo illustration by Ian Oland

Announcing the news himself this morning on Twitter, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will be the first Russian Torchbearer for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He’ll be heading to Greece after Friday’s game to participate in the igniting ceremony on Sunday.

In astonishingly coherent English, Ovechkin said via press release, “I’m extremely humbled and honored to be the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will never forget. I would like to thank the Washington Capitals organization and all of my teammates for their support in enabling me to travel to Greece prior to the regular season.”

The announcement quells scheduling worries that could had snuffed Ovechkin’s ability to participate. I guess they found him that jet after all. Ovechkin will be back in time for practice on Monday.

From the Capitals:

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will be the first Russian Torchbearer for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee announced today. Ovechkin will be the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch once it’s ignited in a ceremony at Olympia, Greece, on Sunday, Sept. 29.

“I’m extremely humbled and honored to be the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch,” said Ovechkin. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will never forget. I would like to thank the Washington Capitals organization and all of my teammates for their support in enabling me to travel to Greece prior to the regular season.”

The Torch will travel through all 83 Russian regions, visiting 2,900 towns and settlements.

“This is a huge honor and we are so proud, and excited for Alex and his family,” said Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis. “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.”

Ovechkin is scheduled to travel to Olympia, Greece, following the Capitals home game against Philadelphia on Friday, Sept. 27. He will take part in the Torch lighting ceremony and return to Washington on Sunday, Sept. 29. The Capitals captain will be available to the media following the Capitals’ practice on Monday, Sept. 30 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and before the team travels to Chicago to open the 2013-14 season against the Blackhawks on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

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  • Red

    Really proud of this kid. Not just as a hockey player, but as a human being. Shine on you crazy diamond. Never lose that smile.

  • yv

    Hopefully, whether permit and no flight delays for I guessing private jet provided by Coca-Cola? Otherwise, Opening night in Chicago would be not so entertaining to watch. So, RMNB will video stream the torching to watch?!

  • ck

    Who in the world wrote that “press release” for him?

  • Yo8

    Russia better win that gold…

  • Chelsea Winot

    Can he please wear big red mittens like that too? haha that would be so great

  • OlietheGoalie

    Is happy for Ovi )))))))))