Photo: Capitals PR
On Thursday night the Capitals will host the Blue Jackets in what promises to be an exciting contest, with both teams neck and neck for the Metropolitan Division crown. It’ll also be Russian Heritage Night. Alex Ovechkin, the most prominent Russian to put on a Capitals sweater, is donning special skates at warmups for the occasion.
Photo: Capitals PR
The skates were designed by Nick Avery and Polo Kerber and feature flags of the United States and Russia on each skate. The skate with the American flag features a painting of the Washington D.C. Capitol building and the Russian skate features Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
The skates will be auctioned off following the pregame warmups with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA). ASHA helps provide individuals with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to play the sport of ice hockey while also emphasizing the development of individual characteristics such as team play, confidence, self-advocacy, self-reliance, concentration and personal accountability. For more information on ASHA click here.
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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.
By Michael Marzzacco