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Flame Watch: Alex Ovechkin to carry the Sochi Torch

Jan 16, 2013, 1:51 PM EDT

If you’re wondering whether Russian NHL star Alex Ovechkin will be playing in the Olympics: don’t. He’s made up his mind regardless of what the NHL owners and players decide.

“To be honest I didn’t think about it right now,” Ovechkin told the Washington Post. “It doesn’t matter what they’re going to say to me. Of course it means a lot for everybody, for all the Russians. I’ve been in Olympic games and I know exactly how it feel to play there. It’s pretty big, biggest event in the world.”

Also no surprise is the fact that Ovechkin will be a Torchbearer at some point during the 123-day run up the Sochi Games. Whether he’ll light the cauldron is a different question, but the hockey star, whose season starts Saturday in Tampa Bay, said he’s proud to be able to carry the Torch for his hometown Games.

“I’m very happy and it means a lot to me.”

Check out this Coke commercial with him carrying the Torch (translation required):