Hockey Hall of Famer, Stanley Cup champion, and doctor?
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is one step away from earning a new, fancy title. Friday, the Federal Science Center of Sports and Culture at the Sports Ministry of the Russian Federation had a preliminary hearing and approved Ovechkin for the discussion and defense of his PhD dissertation. The topic of Ovechkin’s dissertation was “Comparative Analysis of Professional Hockey Training Methods in North America and Russia.” He presented his findings after studying the training methods of three Russian and North American schools.
According to Match TV, once Ovechkin’s dissertation is approved by the Science Council, he will become a PhD of Pedagogical Sciences (research-based education strategies to help young people learn).
Ovechkin’s opponent at the preliminary hearing was Professor V. Gorsky who wrote, “Subject to recommended revisions, I recommend the thesis to be presented to the Science Council for final approval.” All 14 members of the Science Council voted in favor.
Ovechkin said that he received help writing his dissertation from “a good team,” according to a translation by Elizabeth Winters.
“Everything was top level,” he added.
It is rare for an active sports player to try and get their PhD, especially a superstar like Ovechkin. The Capitals captain was asked why it mattered to him by Match TV’s Pavel Lysenkov.
“I want to help with the development of Russian hockey in the future,” Ovechkin said. “It is important to share my experience. I am planning to open my own hockey school soon… I hope to use the methods that I have studied and practiced in the training of kids.”
In June, Andrey Bochkarev announced that “Alexander Ovechkin’s professional hockey academy” was to be built in Moscow on the Mnevnikovskaya Floodplain. Ovechkin’s hockey school will be a part of a large sporting complex that includes an ice arena named after Olympic gold medalist Tatiana Navka. Navka is married to Dmitry Peskov, the press spokesman for Vladimir Putin.
We first learned of Ovechkin’s quest to earn his PhD in 2015 after his mother Tatyana revealed that her son finished a graduate program and would defend a dissertation either “this year or next.” Ovechkin graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth, and Tourism in 2008 (presumably a bachelor’s or equivalent). In September of that year, Ovechkin said he was “thinking” about graduate school.
Years later, Ovechkin made the next step and is closer to achieving another impressive milestone – this time in education.
Translations by Elizabeth Winters
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