ARLINGTON, Va.– 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.