Alex Ovechkin to carry Sochi torch

Updated: September 26, 2013, 1:03 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will be the first Russian torch bearer for the 2014 Winter Olympics when the flame is ignited on Sept. 29 during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece, the Sochi 2014 organizing committee said Thursday.

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

The torch will travel through all 83 Russian regions.

Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis called it a "huge honor" for Ovechkin.

Ovechkin is scheduled to travel to Greece, following the Capitals home game against Philadelphia on Friday. He will take part in the torch-lighting ceremony and return to Washington on Sunday. The team travels to Chicago to open the 2013-14 season against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 1.

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