Making the rounds on Hockey Tumblr this week is an image from 2014 I have never seen before. It’s a photo, published by the official Sochi Olympics Twitter account, of (what Tumblr claims to be) Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin riding on the back of a buggy. But that description does not do the pic justice. No, it does not.
Ovechkin, wearing his practice gear, hangs on to the back of the seat for dear life while strategically placing his skates on the back bumper to balance himself. Ovechkin attempts to mitigate some of the danger by tucking his head under the cart’s roof, which in turn makes his butt poof out of the back. This is happening while the cart races 10-20 MPH up a hill and under a bridge towards the arena.
It appears Ovechkin, bored by the idea of merely traveling safely to a venue, wanted to turn a harmless drive into a personal challenge not to fall out and die.
— Sochi 2014 (@Sochi2014) February 20, 2014
This is not the first time Ovechkin’s had a near-death experience in a cart. Nearly a decade ago, Ovechkin almost decapitated himself and star defenseman Mike Green as they played a game of chicken with a Verizon Center garage door.
No wonder the NHL wants the IIHF and IOC to help cover player insurance costs overseas.
2:10 PM Update: There is a vigorous debate in our comments about if this player, identified by Tumblr, is actually Ovechkin. Upon further research, the Russian national team wore red pants during their Sochi practices, though Ovechkin has worn blue pants for Caps practice in the past and may have brought them to Sochi. One Facebook commenter suggests this is Norway’s Mads Hansen. Norway’s team colors are similar to Russia’s.
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