MOSCOW (Reuters) - Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin brought the Stanley Cup trophy to the soccer World Cup fan zone in Moscow on Saturday as thousands cheered for the first National Hockey League (NHL) captain from Russia to win the title.
The long-time NHL player won his first Stanley Cup last month when his team beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5, ending years of humiliating losses and speculation that he could end his illustrious career without the title.
The 32-year-old, who was born in the Russian capital and began his hockey career at Dynamo Moscow, was named MVP of the playoffs and led wild street celebrations in Washington D.C. when the Capitals won the trophy.
On Saturday in Moscow Ovechkin, one of Russia’s most popular athletes, posed alongside fans who stood in line to get a glimpse of the famous Stanley Cup.
The Capitals’ Stanley Cup is one of two major successes in Russian ice hockey this year. The men’s national team, composed of players based outside the NHL, won gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
The team, who were officially known in Pyeongchang as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) after the country was banned for a doping scandal at the 2014 Sochi Games, beat Germany 4-3 in overtime.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Clare Lovell