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Alex Ovechkin will go the distance for Olympic torch

September 27, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Alex Ovechkin will be the first official torch bearer for the Sochi Olympics.
Alex Ovechkin will be the first official torch bearer for the Sochi Olympics. (Nick Wass / Associated Press )

Now that Alex Ovechkin has been named the first official torch bearer for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, he can look forward to a whirlwind trip. And a lot of frequent-flier miles.

The Washington Capitals captain was selected by Russian officials to take part in a ceremony lighting the flame at the Temple of Hera in Greece on Sunday.

"I'm extremely humbled and honored to be the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch," he told reporters. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and something I will never forget."

Ovechkin is scheduled to fly overseas after a Capitals home game on Friday, take part in the lighting and return in time for his team's season opener in Chicago on Tuesday.

The Russians have planned the longest relay in Olympic history, with 14,000 bearers helping to carry the torch some 40,000 miles in 123 days. The route has been designed to pass close to 90% of the country's population.

The Games begin at the Black Sea resort and nearby mountains in early February.

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