The Washington Spirit have a new investor, Washington Capitals megastar Alex Ovechkin. Ovi has spent his entire 16-year NHL career playing the nation’s capital, including the team’s first Stanley Cup Championship in 2018. Ovechkin told ESPN that he was inspired to invest in the NWSL team by his mother Tatyana, a basketball player who won two gold medals for Team Russia in the Olympics. Ovechkin’s father, Mikhail, also played professional soccer for Dynamo Moscow.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, you should be able to chase the same goals as a professional athlete,” Ovechkin said his mother told him.
Ovechkin joins a growing list of celebrity investors in the NWSL and in the Washington Spirit as former first daughters Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton have both invested into the Spirit. The Spirit are also partially owned by 1996 Olympic Gold Medal winning gymnast Dominique Dawes.
The Spirit are led by USWNT veterans Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett, and look to improve this season after a tough showing in the Challenge Cup. Ovechkin said that he wants to have an active role in the ownership of the team.
“If I have the chance, I have the time, I’d love to go to a practice, would love to go to the game. I’m looking forward to meeting the players. I think it’s critical to be involved with those kinds of things,” Ovechkin said. “To support women’s soccer, I think it’s pretty cool.”
Ovechkin’s presence will almost surely pique the interest of hockey fans in the D.C. area and nationally and will help shine a spotlight on the sport as it continues to grow in popularity.
Photo credit: Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty.