In heartfelt statement, Alex Ovechkin says he will not be playing in 2018 Winter Olympics. He’s not happy about it.
Late Thursday night, Alex Ovechkin released a long, passionate statement through the Washington Capitals website announcing that he would not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Ovechkin’s comments come on the eve of training camp and the first day he’s slated to take questions from reporters.
Ovechkin, who will be 32 on Sunday, has always longed to be an Olympic champion like his mother, who won two gold medals in basketball for Soviet Russia. But over the past year, the NHL has squabbled with the NHLPA, IIHF, and the IOC over whether to allow players to participate in the upcoming Olympics. The league ultimately decided that NHL players will not participate in the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
On Wednesday, Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, officially closed the door on Ovechkin’s participation in an interview with R-Sport. The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan first reported the news.
“What is there for Ovechkin to do now? Nothing. Play for Washington,” Tretiak told R-Sport. “He has to accept that.”
A day later, it’s clear that Ovechkin has accepted the decision, but he made sure to let the NHL know about his disappointment.