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.