ovi-olympic-torch

Photo credit: Washington Capitals Instagram

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was a busy man last night. After scoring two goals and breaking the goal cam in the Capitals’ 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, he left Verizon Center in a rush and boarded a jet. But not before some photos and some not-so-subtle product placement.

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Photo credit: @Ovi8

[Note: RMNB is not sponsored by Coca Cola, the refreshing taste of a new generation. Did you know that Coke is a leader in the global beverage industry? Coke has hundreds of brands, including soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and other beverages that I all wish were in my tummy right now. Coke: why drink water when you have Coke? Coke: because science will one day cure diabetes. Coke: because water should be shipped all around the country and cost $1.25 per bottle. An idea: Go to your grocery store right now, and grab a 24-pack of your preferred Coke-brand carbonated, high-fructose water. Shotgun those bad boys and feel the refreshment coarse through your hyperglycemic body. Mmm Coca Cola. How bout those polar bear commercials? Did I mention it’s refreshing?]

Ovechkin and friends then flew across the globe to Ancient Olympia, Greece, where Ovi met with reporters from the AP.

“I’m going to be probably smiling all the time and I’m going to remember this stuff for all of my life,” Ovechkin said. “I going to tell my kids, my grandkids, and it’s probably one of the biggest moments in my life.”

Let’s hope not.

Ovechkin was also asked about Russia’s poor record on gay rights. He dodged the question (again), saying only that he was looking forward to playing in the Olympics.

“To be honest with you, I’m a hockey player and I’m not (into) politics,” Ovechkin said. “In this kind of situation you’d have to ask those (in) politics.”

Like Vladimir Putin. Who has Ovi’s phone number.

Ovi is set to carry the torch around 5am eastern time Sunday morning. The Russian leg of the torch relay is set to cover 40,390 miles over 123 days before arriving in Sochi on February 7th. It will be carried by 14,000 torchbearers who will be travel by reindeer, dog sled, snow mobiles, boats, hot air balloon, train, plane, and Russian machine. The torch also be carried into space on November 7th, which just sounds unwise. Hey, let’s put this open flame inside this air-tight capsule with a limited supply of oxygen and then put the whole thing atop a giant chemical bomb. 

A practice run for the torch lighting was held midday Saturday in Ancient Olympia. The flame didn’t light. Uh oh.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, chief organizer of Sochi 2014, said in a press conference that they didn’t think the torch would be used in the ceremony.

“The gas bottle had been removed,” Chernyshenko said to the AP. “It’s been built to work in some very difficult terrain and freezing temperatures. So it will be fine tomorrow, you will see.”

Let’s hope so.

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  • warriorinside

    Good for him. He shouldn’t have to answer questions like that.

  • Yo8

    Don’t worry MIR got on fire a bunch of times and the cosmonauts kept it under control.

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    The smart play is to be mum on the subject, why alienate Russia or the US/CAN with his view.

    The bottom line is that he’s an athlete, not some sort of human rights activist. The laws in Russia are obsurd, but it’s not his fight.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Which is what we’ve said, here, multiple times.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I WORRY. I saw that episode of Firefly.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    No one “has to” answer *any* question.

  • warriorinside

    Agree, but there’s a difference between the questions that should be asked and it’s okay to not answer, and the questions that just aren’t appropriate. IMO asking a sports star about gay rights when he has not espoused an opinion falls into the latter category.

  • yv

    How you think ISS was torched in “Gravity” leaving poor Bullock alone in space!?!

  • Catherine__M

    I’d argue that for a free press it’s appropriate to ask any question if the aim of asking is to contribute to a story (as opposed to playing politics or trying to make the interviewee look bad/ put in a bad spot as retribution etc). Doesn’t mean that the same question would be appropriate in polite social conversation, but like it or not, the press isn’t paid to be nice and socialize with public figures.

    As to the relevance of Ovi’s opinion on this matter…it does contribute to the greater story. He’s an official public face of the Games, the sports minister made a point of announcing that the recently passed laws would be enforced at the Games. They made the gay rights issue pertainent to the Games, he’s an English-speaking, US resident, public figure in the US who is also a public spokesman of the Games. They’re going to ask this. A lot.

    Does he have to answer? No. Should he, probably not. Is is unfair that he’s in this position? Maybe, but such is the nature of public life. Does it have anything to do with him as a profession hockey player? Nope. But it kind of doss as a spokesman of the Games.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Well said, Catherine.

  • Jim

    A poster boy for the Russian Winter Olympics and their biggest star in the NHL who is also the face of a franchise in a city with a relatively large gay population–he’s going to get the question. He’s not expected to lead a crusade for gay rights in Russia, but the question about what he thinks about anti-gay laws there will continue and perhaps grow as the Winter Games get closer. My guess is he’ll keep ducking.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    +1 to what Catherine said. He’s a goodwill ambassador for the Olympics and captain to his team– it’s totally fine to ask the question.

    It’s also fine for him to give an agnostic answer.

  • Pedro Zozaya

    It is ridiculous to read Americans hypocrites. In America, still in some states there is criminalized homosexual acts. In America there is banned organ transplants homosexuals. And you criticize Russia? Ha. American hypocrisy has no limits!

    America is a sick country. In America, homosexuals have more rights than Christians. Homosexuals in America still has not banned the Bible?

  • Jon Adams

    In America we attempt coherent arguments sometimes…