Alexander Ovechkin: “I’m a ‘caveman’ because I don’t care what others think of me” (Photo © The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)
Alexander Ovechkin gave an interview to Anna Nasekina of Sovetskiy Sport in Montreal where his Capitals faced the Canadiens. Ovechkin talked about being a caveman, not caring about what others think of him, the Olympics, girls, and a lot of other funny stuff.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation.
Anna Nasekina is a member of Russian Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team and a reporter for Sovetskiy Sport at the same time. Last week she was in Montreal when Ovechkin’s Capitals came there to face the Canadiens.
Anna and Alexander met in a restaurant in the city centre. As soon as Anna entered the restaurant and approached Oveckhin he stood up and kissed her on a cheek. “Sanya”, said Oveckin. “Anya”, replied Anna.
Since the very first minute of their converstaion she felt as if she has known him for 10 years.
– What a great game it was yesterday.
– Yeah. Now go to hockey in Moscow and compare.
– I’ll sure do. But is it that much different?
– Like heaven and earth. NHL is the best league. Everyone dreams to play here.
– Do the Capitals have good chances at winning the Stanley Cup this year?
– Well, we are leading the league now. But there are like 70 games ahead of us.
– It must be very hard to play so many games?
– No, it’s good. You just have to not think about fatigue. Today we are in Montreal, tomorrow in Carolina and then again in Washington. It’s my life and I’m used to it.
– Does your team fly on it’s own plane?
– Yes. They make us wear suits. See, I’ve already put on mine (adjusts the tie). Every player got his own seat in the plane. I’ve got the second seat — the trump!
– You’ve got the second seat in the bus too?
– No. In the bus I sit in the third row from the right. And after the games I always take the back seat. They are giving out beer there.
– How do you like Washington?
– It’s a good, calm city.
– Do you visit Moscow often?
– I go there during my vacation. If we don’t make it to the playoffs the vacation lasts for five months. If we do — three. But usualy all players are injured so you spend the whole vacation trying to recover. Are you a Muscovite youself?
– Yes. And where do you live?
– Vodniy Stadion, the greenest region in Moscow. When I’m at home I go out to the the balcony, take a sip of beer, stretch myself and go to sleep. Now this is Paradise! That’s how I relax.
A girl approaches Ovechkin for his autograph.
– There is no place in the world where they would leave you alone.
– Ah, come on! Sometimes I get recognized, sometimes not. It’s not hard for me to give an autograph or make a photo. And actually I’m pofigist (the one who doesn’t care). My popularity isn’t really important for me.
– So you don’t have the star syndrome?
– The star syndrome goes away the same way it comes.
– But it seems that the “caveman” reputation pleases you.
– I’m a “caveman” because I don’t care what others think of me. I don’t give a damn.
– If you didn’t give a damn you wouldn’t play the way you do.
– And maybe the only reason I do it is because I really don’t care.
– Do you want to say that the manly bristle, the gap in teeth and yellow laces aren’t part of your image?
– Wanna have some wine? (Ovechkin abruptly changes the topic and takes a sip of Californian Red)
– No, thanks. Does somebody work on your image in the NHL? There must be a lot of imagemakes.
– I’m an imagemaker for myself.
– Is fighting integral to hockey?
– I don’t fight, I hit. If I don’t hit them, they will hit me. You were in Beijing, right? (Ovechkin changes the topic once again)
– I was.
– Great, wasn’t it?
– You don’t say. That’s the best thing in my life.
– I was in Beijing when our women won a gold medal in fencing. Now I’m looking forward to Vancouver. World Championships can’t compare with the Olympics. We finished only 4th in Torino, this time we must fight harder.
– What’s more important for you, the Olympics or the Stanley Cup?
– Right now it’s the Olympics. I want to win the Olympics. Tell me, you are a synchronized swimmer, right? You must have great stretching.
– Of course I do.
– And I have a lack of flexibility, you know. I’m a forward, I have to be flexible to split the defencemen. Whenever I go to the gym I want to do some stretching but it never works out. Did I tell you my hands are small? I can’t even grip my own wrist. But, I can grip yours (takes Anna by her wrist).
– Oh, come on, you can hold the stick after all! (It’s Ann’s turn to change the topic now). The other day I saw your photo on a magazine cover. You look great!
– At least you liked me there (smiles without a hint of ambivalence).
– Oh, please, don’t tell me that girls don’t like you.
– I don’t care (indifferently again), I’m only 24. I still want to play the field. And you?