Wednesday, August 26, 2009


by Sovietsky Sport and Slapshot

In an interview with Sovietsky Sport, Alexander Ovechkin talks about the Russian soul and the vastness of Siberia in relating an anecdote about his recent visit to Capitals teammate Alexander Semin's hometown, Krasnoyarsk, 4,400 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

"We stopped at this small village to go to the local store," Ovechkin says. "There was this woman behind the counter cutting some fish. I came in and asked for water, chocolates and sandwiches. And she looked at me kind of strange and asked me, 'Is it you or not?' I reply, 'Of course it's me.' She says, 'Give me a smile.'" -- to check if it was Ovechkin by seeing his missing tooth.

"Can you imagine that?" he continues. "It was in the middle of nowhere! Washington is on the other side of the globe, Moscow is really far away. And people knew me there. I played a lot for the national team and know what patriotism is. The gold medal from Quebec is my most treasured trophy. But I couldn't catch my breath there [in that store]. I just felt what Russia is about, how dear and big it is and how we -- hockey players and the national team -- are loved here. When you think of people like those you want to win the Olympics twice as much."

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