Alex Ovechkin fulfilled a dream Sunday, carrying the Olympic torch near the beginning of its journey toward Russia and its final resting place in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Washington Capitals superstar forward was the second dignitary -- and first Russian -- to carry the torch after it was lit during an afternoon ceremony in the ruins of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera. Organizers invoked the spirit of the Greek god Apollo and lit the torch by using a parabolic mirror to harness the sun's rays to kindle a flame in a ceremony attended by thousands of spectators, as well as new International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, as well as the head of the Sochi organizing committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko.
Ovechkin was the second member of the relay, accepting the lit torch for his leg of the relay from Greece's 18-year-old Alpine skier, Ioannis Antoniou. Ovechkin, 28, was wearing a white warmup suit as he accepted the torch and held it in his right hand as he waved with his left hand during his run along the route.