Back in 2004, Trans World Sport conducted an interview with a then-18-year old Alex Ovechkin. Trans World Sport is a British company whose objective is to “bring its viewers the best, the most interesting, and most informative stories from the world of sport.” They have done features on many up-and-coming sports stars prior to them becoming famous, including a 14-year old Tiger Woods, 12-year old tennis star Venus Williams and her sister, Serena. This particular interview with Ovechkin was one of these features.
The interview was conducted prior to Ovechkin being drafted by the Washington Capitals with the first overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
The video starts off with scenes of a young Ovechkin practicing on the ice, along with scenes of his heroics in the IIHF World Junior Championships of 2002-03 in Canada, and highlighting the fact that he was the first 17-year old to score six goals in a World Junior tournament since Wayne Gretzky.
Ovechkin answered interview questions in Russian, but Trans World Sports translated his answers. Some memorable quotes from Ovechkin included the following:
“Hockey is my life. It’s unthinkable without it. I have no idea what I’d be doing if it weren’t for hockey”
“I’ve never made it a secret of how I want to be the best player in the world. I’m going to do my best and then some to make that dream come true.”
“My parents gave me so much advice and encouragement. They liked to watch me play and support me. They’re my biggest fans and my biggest critics. They always let me know if I get something wrong. My family plays a big part in my life”
“So far in my career, that tournament [IIHF World Junior Championship] was the high point of my career. It was the high point to win Gold at the World Championship. And in the home town of hockey in front of 10000 Canadian fans. We proved that we’re the best. And that Russian hockey is the greatest. I have such great memories from that tournament.”
The full feature, including the interview can be seen here.
By Diane Doyle