Supported by his teammates, Alex Ovechkin was honored as DC's Sportsman of the year at the annual Sneaker Ball.
Ovechkin: "I love this city, I love people here... and life is good."
Photo from marylandnighthawks.com
From Greater Washington Sports Alliance
The 5th Annual SneakerBall is where over 50 professional athletes & Olympians, the Greater Washington’s sports franchise ownership groups, and the leaders of the region’s business community and the Sports Alliance charitable partners come together for the only formal celebration that honors the region’s sports pioneers & their accomplishments .
Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.
6:30PM - Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction
8:00PM - Welcome & Dinner
8:30PM - Greater Washington Sports Alliance Hall of Champions Ceremony
9:30PM - Games & Amusements
Friends of Fort DuPont Ice Arena
Progressive Sports & Entertainment Alliance
Special Olympics District of Columbia
United for D.C.
Hall of Champions:
Each year three individuals are inducted into the Greater Washington Sports Hall of Champions. These individuals have made significant contributions to the region’s sports community and have created opportunities in our region for “great moments to happen.”
Update fromDump and Chase by Mike Vogel:
Ovechkin’s father (Mikhail) and brother (Mikhail) joined him at the event, as did Capitals teammates Matt Bradley, Chris Clark, Mike Green, Brent Johnson, Brooks Laich and Shaone Morrisonn. Many other local pro athletes were also in attendance as (D.C. native and Basketball Hall of Famer) Adrian Dantley, (ex-Redskin) Brig Owens and (ex-Redskin) were inducted into the Hall of Champions.
In addition to his family members, Ovechkin also brought along 21-year-old defenseman Viktor Dovgan, a fellow Russian native. For Dovgan, it was a chance to rub elbows with some premier athletes and to enjoy a nice dinner.
While he was on stage, Ovechkin was asked about the leadership and kindnesses he has shown to the Caps’ trio of young Russians (Dovgan, Dmitry Kugryshev and Simeon Varlamov) who are in town for the team’s rookie camp. For Ovechkin, it’s just a matter of paying it forward. He told the assembled crowd that when he arrived in D.C. as a rookie three years ago, Morrisonn, Brian Sutherby (now with Anaheim) and Steve Eminger (now with Philadelphia) greeted him warmly and invited him to go out fishing with them.
Earlier in the week, Ovechkin mentioned to me that Dainius Zubrus (now with New Jersey) had taken him in and helped him get acclimated to the area and to North American culture upon his arrival in D.C.
“I just try to help the young guys because I remember when I came here Zubie helped me a lot," Ovechkin said. "I just tried to take care of them.”