Ovechkin commits to Olympic torch run

Ovechkin commits to Olympic torch run
September 26, 2013, 11:00 am
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Holtby has high hopes for the season

After weeks of trying to iron out details of how to get him from Washington to Olympia, Greece and back in the span of roughly 48 hours, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee announced today that Alex Ovechkin will be the first torch bearer following the lighting of the Olympic flame on Sunday.

“I’m extremely humbled and honored to be the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch,” Ovechkin said in a statement. “The 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.”

Ovechkin is scheduled to travel to Olympia following the Caps’ home game against the Flyers Friday night at Verizon Center. Following the torch lighting he will return to Washington and coach Adam Oates said he’ll be “in bed” by Sunday night.

The Caps will practice in Arlington on Monday, then catch a flight to Chicago for Tuesday night’s season opener against the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

Oates said he’s not concerned about the toll the round-trip flight will put on his 28-year-old captain, who last season won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player for the third time in his career.

“This is a huge honor and we are so proud and excited for Alex and his family,” Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. “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.”