In what came as entirely unsurprising news, Alexander Ovechkin was announced as the first Russian torch bearer for the 2014 Olympics when the flame is ignited in Greece on September 29. Rumors had abounded about the move in recent weeks, and in the end it will be a decision that is positive for Ovechkin, the Russian Federation, and the Washington Capitals themselves.
For Alexander Ovechkin the positives that surround being the first Russian torch bearer of the Olympics are endless, but he will be most comforted by the pride and joy of representing his beloved homeland. Ovechkin’s patriotism cannot be denied after watching him compete in so many international events for Russia, and going to this event will certainly allow him to gain a little edge of confidence that will send him into the beginning of the 2013-2014 NHL season on a tear. Expect Ovechkin to use this day in Greece to free his mind, show some patriotism, and get some extra motivation to start off the 2013 regular season on fire.
Meanwhile the Russian Federation will be overcome with happiness that the biggest sporting star in their nation will be involved in a marquee event for the nation’s hosting of the Olympic games. Having Ovechkin become the first torch bearer will be a boon with fans back home who treat him as an idol, and it cannot be overvalued in terms of being a positive marketing ploy to an event that will be extremely costly to set up.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, the Washington Capitals will be happy knowing that their biggest star is happy and satisfied with the organization. A happy player is normally a productive one, and the Capitals will be hoping that allowing Ovechkin to participate in this event will get him off to a hot start to the upcoming season. On top of that they will be using this to keep him from becoming the next big time player to defect for Russia, as we saw Ilya Kovalchuk do during the summer.
With Alexander Ovechkin, the Russian Olympic Federation and the Washington Capitals all seeing positives come out of this event it is safe to say that it is a win-win-win.