Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is set to become an investor in the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Washington Spirit, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. “It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, you should be able to chase the same goals as a professional athlete.” That quote from his mother, Tatyana, inspired him.
He told ESPN it’s “important to support women and women’s professional athletes” national and worldwide. “It was also important for me to support the D.C. community,” Ovechkin said, adding that he and his wife Nastya “love” to catch soccer, football, and baseball games. “We all win. If I have this opportunity, I think it’s very important for me to do it, because it also shows we care.”
“It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, you should be able to chase the same goals as a professional athlete.” That quote from his mother, Tatyana, inspired him. Tatyana is a two-time Olympic gold-medal-winning basketball player for Russia. Ovechkin’s father even played soccer.
The 35-year-old is a major fan of the Liverpool and Barcelona football clubs in the Premier League and La Liga respectively. Ovechkin enjoys playing soccer in the summer. He said, “I think I’m good, but probably I’m not good.”
Spirits captain Tori Huster said Ovechkin’s investment is “amazing” and explained how Tatyana “passed on not only her athletic ability but an understanding of an even playing field.” “Every male athlete I’ve ever spent time around, worked out with or played pickup with — if they didn’t see the value already, once you are in and around playing them, and you’re putting in just as much work as they are, they understand the importance of evening the playing field,” Huster said, adding, “He’s also supporting a team in his city — a city that loves him.”
Ovechkin is eager to be involved with the Spirit and mentioned that he would “love” to go to practices and games if he has the time and chance. “I’m looking forward to meeting the players. I think it’s critical to be involved with those kinds of things. To support women’s soccer, I think it’s pretty cool.”
Huster is also looking forward to having Ovechkin “show that we are valuable” and be an ally who is “going to help us make those improvements.” “He, as well, will have a really cool perspective on sports in general and what is professional. He can show us how to raise the bar and the standards — some that we might think are great, but he can pinpoint what we can do to improve, whether it’s in the medical department or the media department.”
Talks have been tabled on a contract extension between Ovechkin and the Capitals until after the 2020-21 season. Ovechkin teased that he would be interested in additional sports ownership opportunities when he retires. “I would love to be in Ted’s [Capitals’ owner] spot, I can’t lie to you…But seriously, I don’t know what I’d like to do. I still think I have a couple years left playing, then we’ll see.”
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin very soon, the Spirit kicks off their 24-match season on May 16.
By Della Young