Alex Ovechkin understands he is perhaps the biggest Russian star of the Sochi Olympics. He also knows that any statements he makes will be scrutinized.
So when asked about misconceptions about Russia, he stood up for his country but also kept an amount of secrecy.
“To be honest with you, I don’t like to hear what the people say about Russia,” Ovechkin told The Associated Press after a recent practice with the Washington Capitals. “Because lots of people say good things, lots of people say bad things.”
Russia gained attention after president Vladimir Putin passed a law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations toward minors in June plus with growing Olympic costs and safety issues.
What hurts him the most?
“Again,” he said with a deep sigh, according to the AP. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
He said that if he expresses an opinion “it’s going to be forever,” will get a lot of attention, and he won’t be able to take it back.
“I’m kind of the guy who supports my country,” he said. “Whatever happened has happened. And there’s nothing I can do, nothing you can do.”
PHT: Ovechkin: Russia’s ‘mission’ is Olympic gold
Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.
In the clip below, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.
Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.
VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics
NBC Olympics will partner with Snapchat for daily “Live Stories” and an NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel (co-produced with Buzzfeed) during the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Rio Games.
The Live Stories allows Snapchatters attending select U.S. Olympic Trials events and the Rio Games to contribute photo and video Snaps to the Snapchat-curated story.
The Live Stories will include behind-the-scenes and fan moments, and Snapchat will feature NBC’s Rio Olympic brand marks, logos and more.
The Discover channel will be live from Aug. 4 (one day before the Opening Ceremony) through Aug. 22 (one day after the Closing Ceremony).
From NBC Sports Group:
Buzzfeed will leverage NBC’s access to athletes, as well as clips and shots from inside and outside Rio Olympic venues, to bring Snapchatters a fresh, mobile-first look at the Games.
MORE: Full Olympic Trials broadcast schedule