On Thursday, Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov spoke to Alex Ovechkin’s mother, Tatyana Ovechkina, on her 65th birthday. Much of the conversation was devoted to the two-time gold medalist’s career in basketball, but Lysenkov managed to get one adorable tidbit about the Russian mother’s personal life too.
Ovechkina revealed how she and Ovechkin’s father, Mikhail, first met 47 years ago. She was an 18-year-old athlete and he was a soccer player.
According to a press release from the Moscow Region’s ministry of physical culture, sports, and youth programs, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has donated 70 bags of hockey equipment to the Sergiev Posad boarding school, an orphanage operated by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Ovechkin clan’s media footprint is usually dominated by Ovi himself. His dad Mikhail is sometimes good at generating a memorable quote or providing unexpected insight as well. But matriarch Tatyana Ovechkina, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, is actually the family’s most accomplished athlete.
She is currently the President of Dynamo Moscow women’s basketball club, where her older son Mikhail is the Sporting Director. Under their guidance the team has climbed to the top of the European women’s basketball rankings, recently winning the European Cup. At 64 years old, the former captain of the USSR basketball national team is still going strong, but you will not often find her name in the newspapers. One has to go back a few years to find an interview with the mother of the captain of the Washington Capitals; she treats the press corps with a healthy dose of distrust and skepticism.
A few days ago, Russian sports daily Sport-Express ran an in-depth piece by acclaimed journalist Elena Vaytsekhovskaya. Elena also happens to be a former top level athlete herself, having won the gold medal in platform diving at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal – and she’s a close personal friend of Tatyana Ovechkina. In this interview, which we bring to you in translation below, Ovi’s mom talks about her views on money in modern sports, when she expects her son to retire from hockey and even tells us how big Alex the Great was when he was born. [WARNING: That last bit is not for the faint of heart.]
With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi approaching, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been doing a bunch of Russian-language interviews to promote the games and his sponsors. Over the weekend, Ovi spoke with R-Sport and– after he got in a plug for Gillette and his steely character– he talked about his family, Maria, and his favorite spots in Washington. It’s a good read.
Weird thing: despite being world-class athletes back in the day, Ovechkin’s parents don’t understand why Ovi needs more than one car. Kids these days.
It appears as if Dynamo Moscow is unbeatable with Alex Ovechkin in their line-up. The defending champions won their seventh straight game Saturday, defeating Metallurg Novokuznetsk 3-2 in front of a hometown crowd of 6469, including Ovi’s mom Tatyana and his girlfriend Maria Kirilenko.
Ovechkin tallied his 10th point of the season, receiving a secondary assist on Yury Babenko’s powerplay goal.
Every time Alex Ovechkin flies off the bench for a shift, you can see in his powerful stride that he will leave it all on the ice. Alex’s deep passion had to come from somewhere, and we believe that a lot of it comes from his mother Tatyana.
RMNB recently sent Fedor out to learn more about the Ovechkin family’s strong athletic heritage, specifically his two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mother, Tatyana Ovechkina. Many people know that Tatyana was one of the greatest basketball players in Russian History, but there’s a a lot more to know, and we’re here to share.
Below the jump, find out about the people who inspired her, why she picked the number eight, and what she really thinks of her son. Enjoy!