ARLINGTON, Va. – Alex Ovechkin apologized for Russia’s hockey performance at the Olympics, a sentiment put in perspective by the encouraging news that his father was on the way home after heart surgery.
The Washington Capitals held their first post-Olympics practice Tuesday, a session overshadowed by residue from the Winter Games.
Ovechkin was one of the faces of Sochi, bent on winning the gold on home ice. Instead, the Russians were eliminated in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive Olympics.
“First of all, I want to say sorry to the fans,” Ovechkin said. “Because it’s once in a lifetime opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics, and you didn’t get the results, you didn’t get any medal.”
Ovechkin took the Olympic disappointment especially hard four years ago, but this time he had to immediately turn his attention to his family. His father, who has a history of heart problems, became ill following one of his son’s games and required surgery. Ovechkin wasn’t told until three days later, after Russia had been eliminated.