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Photo credit: RIA Novosti

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had the best moment of his life and you slept through the whole thing. Ovi indeed became the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch around 6 AM eastern time. It will now travel through 30 Greek cities before starting its long and ridiculous journey through Russia (and outer space!).

The ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece, was elaborate. There were seemingly hundreds of speeches spanning 45 minutes. There was a 15-minute dance number. Doves were released. No, seriously. Then it was Ovi time.

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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 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.

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We learned three years ago that Alex Ovechkin would be Official Ambassador and torchbearer for the upcoming Sochi Olympics. A centerpiece of the campaign to promote the Games, Ovechkin wields more star power than his peers– as evidenced, for example, by his Twitter feed featured prominently on the Sochi 2014 website– so it makes sense they would want his help sooner rather than later.

With the opening ceremonies just five months out, the next big promotional push is the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic torch. Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko says he will have Alex Ovechkin there. In Greece. At the end of September.

Right as the NHL season begins.

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