On Thursday, March 23, the Capitals will host Russian Heritage Night at Verizon Center during their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Thursday will be one of many themed heritage nights the Caps have hosted this season.
During warm-ups prior to the game, Alex Ovechkin will don a special pair of Bauer Vapor 1X skates. The skates, designed by shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, are a nod to Russia and the United States. One side features the US and Russian flags, and the other features two famous landmarks: St. Basil’s Cathedral in Ovi’s hometown of Moscow, and the Capitol building here in his hockey home here in Washington, DC. And they are pretty dang snazzy.
This is the first time a NHL player, has worm custom-painted footwear during an NHL game according to ESPN’s UniWatch. However, his is not the first time Ovi has sported customized footwear. During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Ovi’s skate blades were painted with a demonic-looking sheep (his family name, ‘Ovechka’ means “sheep” in Russian), and during the 2014 Sochi games he wore a pair of skates decorated with the Russian flag.
The skates will be auctioned off during the game, with the proceeds benefiting the American Special Hockey Association. Ovi has built up a strong relationship with ASHA over the last few years, which started after meeting then 10-year old ASHA player Ann Schaab, whom he took on a sushi date, and later won her team, the Washington Ice Dogs, a car during that year’s NHL All-Star game. The two have been friends since, and his charity work has helped grow the association. The auction for the skates will run until the second intermission of Saturday’s game versus the Arizona Coyotes.
We can’t wait to see these skates in action Thursday night!
More from the Caps:
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation will auction Russian-American themed Bauer Vapor 1X skates worn by Alex Ovechkin during pregame warmups on March 23 when the Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the Capitals’ Russian Heritage Night.
All proceeds will benefit the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA). ASHA provides individuals with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to play the sport of ice hockey. In addition to physical hockey skills, the program emphasizes the development of desirable individual characteristics such as team play, confidence, self-advocacy, self-reliance, concentration and personal accountability.
Ovechkin has a longstanding relationship with ASHA, having hosted ASHA skating sessions for the past three consecutive seasons. Ovechkin has been an ASHA ambassador since the first skate in 2014, when he met 11-year-old Washington Ice Dogs player Ann Schaab and granted her request for a sushi date following a preseason game. Inspired by his relationship with Schaab, Ovechkin announced his plans to donate the car to ASHA during the National Hockey League’s 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend.
Ovechkin selected famed custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber to design the customized Bauer Vapor 1X skates, which feature flags of United States and Russia as well as Washington D.C.’s Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral. He is the first NHL player to utilize his skates in this fashion, having met with the artists earlier this year to collaborate on a design for Russian Heritage Night that would celebrate and showcase the places he plays hockey and calls home.
The Bauer Vapor 1X skates will be autographed and auctioned by MSE Foundation on Handbid. The auction is currently open online at https://hand.bid/OviSkates and will close at the end of the second intermission on March 25, when the Capitals host the Arizona Coyotes.
During the Capitals’ March 23 game at Verizon Center, the auction will take place at the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation table on the main concourse at section 104. Fans interested in bidding will need to download the Handbid app on their iPhone and Android devices and should ensure their phones or tablets are well charged for the game. Fans without smart phones may bid on iPads supplied by the Capitals while the auction is open. Fans not attending the game may bid using the Handbid app or online.
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