In a fitting Mother's Day story, Alex Ovechkin has been inspired by his mother to become an investor in the NWSL's Washington Spirit, ESPN's Emily Kaplan reported on Sunday.
Ovechkin said his mother, Tatyana, taught him that regardless of gender all athletes should have the chance to chase their dreams as a professional the same way Tatyana was able to chase hers as a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Russia.
Ovechkin joins a series of high-profile investors in NWSL teams this year, including fellow Spirit investors Dominique Dawes, Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush.
"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 told ESPN. "It was also important for me to support the D.C. community...If I have this opportunity, I think it's very important for me to do it, because it also shows we care."
Ovechkin said his father also played soccer for Dynamo back home, but injuries curtailed his career. Ovechkin is a big supporter of two of Europe's biggest clubs, Liverpool and Barcelona, and enjoys playing the sport in the offseason. He even has some friends on the national team in Russia.
Now just 164 goals away from Wayne Gretzky's all-time scoring record, Ovechkin said he has a couple more seasons left before thinking about the other ownership opportunities he's interested in. This month, however, he's focused on the Caps' end of the regular season and Stanley Cup playoff run.
After winning just one of its four Challenge Cup games last month, the Spirit opens its regular season next Sunday against Orlando. With national team players like Kelley O'Hara and Andi Sullivan, along with marquee players like Trinity Rodman and captain Tori Huster, the Spirit contingent could be seeing Ovechkin in the stands sooner rather than later.
"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 told Kaplan. "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."