Alex Ovechkin carries the Olympic torch in Greece
Alex Ovechkin had no dark circles under his eyes, no stiffness from sitting in an airplane for 18 hours, no crankiness from a lack of sleep.
In fact, the Capitals’ 28-year-old captain looked pretty refreshed after his first practice with the Capitals since leaving for Olympia, Greece Friday night to participate in the second leg of the Olympic torch run on Sunday.
“It was great, a huge experience,” Ovechkin told reporters after a brisk on-ice workout at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Monday. “I was very excited. I’m never going to forget about it, just to go up there and see the first Olympic facility; the stones, it’s a historic place. It’s great. It’s probably the biggest experience of my life.”
Shortly after the Olympic torch was lit, Ovechkin took it from 18-year-old Greek alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou, waved to the crowd and ran with it for about 500 meters.
“When you get the torch it’s just unbelievable feeling, like the whole world is watching you,” Ovechkin said. “Everybody excited, everybody screams. You feel like, you’re the man. It’s unbelievable.”
As for his ability to get any rest on the cross-Atlantic flight, Ovechkin said he slept about six hours on his Friday night flight to Greece, managed to sleep through the night Saturday and caught about 30 minutes of sleep on his return flight, which arrive at DullesAirport around 8 p.m. Sunday night.
“If you’re going to sleep all flight, you going to be jet lag,” he said. “It was good to be in my bed. Good to be home.”
There have been reports that Ovechkin’s mother, Tatyana, a two-time Olympian, might participate in the torch run when it makes its way through Moscow.
Tatyana Ovechkin was scheduled to arrive in D.C. sometime on Monday and her son said they would discuss the possibility while she’s visiting him.
“She’d be great,” he said. “She’s two-time Olympic champion. She deserve it.”
Asked if he received most of his athletic prowess from his mother, who played basketball for the Soviet national team, or her father, a standout in soccer, Ovechkin smiled and said, “Both. My dad do good job, my mom do good job.”