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Tatiana Ovechkin: Alex was “always in motion”

Via the Washington Post’s DC Sports Blog, via Sovetsky Sport, via Russian Machine Never Breaks, we have some highlights of a very interesting interview with Alex Ovechkin’s mother, Tatiana. Here are some highlights:

And how did you come up with your trademark, the number eight which you have weared your whole career, and under which Sasha plays now?
When I first started with juniors in Dynamo, they began to put me with the older group. I almost did not play with my age. I immensely liked one basketball player, Vladimir Zinman. He played under eight.

Why did you choose hockey for Alexander then?
He is a very athletic guy. In any team sports he would be able to prove himself. And in the childhood he watched a lot of hockey, ran with a stick around the apartment. He was always in motion, his eyes on fire. Since the time he started to walk Sasha was the most ardent fan of the Moscow Dynamo in any sport.

Did you have in your career just as hard a time as Sasha had after the Vancouver Olympics?
Yes, I had. Ten years ago we were in the Final Four of the Euroleague and failed to win that tournament. We yielded just one point to Frenchwomen... I had a horrible depression.

My husband and I watched the Vancouver Olympics in Moscow. But after the loss to Canadians (3:7) we flew to Washington to support Sasha. It’s between me and my son what I said to him back then. It’s hard to revive him after that loss.

It really is a great interview, and there’s an incredible picture of Alex and his mother sitting on a bench with Uljana Semjonova, the 6'11" center of the USSR basketball team. He even has a pair of Airborne style rollerblades on in the picture.

She also talks about the camera incident from Vancouver and how Ovechkin has recovered from his Olympic disappointment.

I tried to come up with some witty things to say about Ovechkin here, but I can’t. This is an interview with his mom -- gotta respect that.