Alex Ovechkin to carry Sochi torch

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.