Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin will be one of 14,000 torchbearers for the 2014 Winter Olympics, set to take place in Sochi, Russia next February.
“I’m very excited," Ovechkin said Wednesday. "It’s a big thing in Russia and it’s a very good thing. I’m very proud I’m one of the guy who is going to have torch. I’m very happy and it means a lot to me.”
The 123-day relay, set to begin Oct. 7, will cover 65,000 kilometers. Ovechkin does not yet know where he will carry the torch.
While Ovechkin will participate in festivities before the Olympics, whether or not he will be allowed to participate in them remains to be seen. The issue regarding the NHL involvement's in the Games was left unresolved during the recent agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHL Players' Assocation.
Ovechkin, however, has made it clear for years that he will be in Sochi regardless.
“Yes, of course,” Ovechkin said. “To be honest I didn’t think about it right now. It doesn’t matter what they’re going to say to me. Of course it means a lot for everybody, for all the Russians. I’ve been in Olympic games and I know exactly how it feel to play there. It’s pretty big, biggest event in the world.”
An Olympic-themed Coca-Cola advertisement featuring Ovechkin was released Tuesday. It's in Russian, so you can find a translation courtesy of Russian Machine Never Breaks below:
[Ovi sits down next to the boy]
Ovi: Are you worried? Everything will be “super”!
[Banner: Vlad Novitsky: participates in charity performances for children. Earned the right to carry the Olympic torch.]
[Vlad carries the torch, then lights up Ovi's; Ovi looks nervous]
Vlad: Are you worried? Everything will be “super”!
[Banner: Alexander Ovechkin: supports clubs for children. Earned the right to carry the Olympic torch.]
Voice: Do you make the world around yourself better? Enter your name on CocaCola.ru to carry the Olympic torch!
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