Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin and his wife, Nastya, are taking an active role in supporting women’s professional sports, becoming investors for the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Ovechkin told ESPN that part of his drive to become an investor comes from his mother, Tatyana, who was a two-time Olympic gold-medal-winning basketball player for Russia. She taught him that “it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, you should be able to chase the same goals as a professional athlete,” Ovechkin told ESPN.
“I think it’s important to support women and women’s professional athletes — not just in the United States, but all over the world,” Ovechkin said. “It was also important for me to support the D.C. community. I support everybody in this town. Me and my wife love to go watch a soccer game, watch football, and baseball. We all win. If I have this opportunity, I think it’s very important for me to do it, because it also shows we care.”
Ovechkin is in his 16th season with the Capitals, although he will become a free agent this offseason. Ovechkin leads Washington with 24 goals this year and has 730 in his career, although he has played just 39 seconds over the last six games due to a lower-body injury.
The Capitals close the regular season Tuesday against the Boston Bruins. Coach Peter Laviolette has taken a cautious approach with Ovechkin, wanting him to be ready for the playoffs.
Once Ovechkin retires, he hopes he can have more sports ownership opportunities.
“I would love to be in Ted’s spot, I can’t lie to you,” Ovechkin laughed, referring to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. “But seriously, I don’t know what I’d like to do. I still think I have a couple years left playing, then we’ll see.”
Ovechkin is one of several high-profile investors for the Spirit. In February, the franchise announced a new investor group that includes Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager, the daughters of two former U.S. presidents.
“If I have the chance, I have the time, I’d love to go to a practice, would love to go to the games,” Ovechkin said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the players. I think it’s critical to be involved with those kind of things. To support women’s soccer, I think it’s pretty cool.”
The Spirit also announced 11 other new investors Monday, including several business men and women, such as Jodie McLean and Carol Melton. The team has added more than 40 investors in 2021.
Washington begins its regular season May 16 against the Orlando Pride.
“I am delighted to welcome Alex, Nastya and their family to our investor group,” Spirit Managing Partner Steve Baldwin said in a statement. “Alex is one of the most iconic and successful athletes to ever represent a Washington sports franchise. Additionally, the work he and Nastya do in our community is remarkable and a great fit with the values of our club. It is incredibly exciting for our players, organization and fans to have the Ovechkin family join us in our mission of doing great things as we move forward together.”
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