Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin: I don’t like to hear what people say about Russia

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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

WATCH: Top basketball moments of the Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20:  (L-R) Gold medalists Diana Taurasi #12 and Sue Bird #6 of United States celebrate during the medal ceremony after the Women's Basketball competition on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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As expected the U.S. took gold in both men’s and women’s basketball, with the men winning their third consecutive Olympic gold medal and the women running their streak to six straight. But there was a lot more to take in at the basketball venues, including Serbia’s men’s team winning their first Olympic basketball medal (as an independent nation), and Spain doing the same in the women’s bracket.

To watch the top basketball moments of the Rio Olympics, click here.

WATCH: Top track and field moments of the Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men's 100 meter final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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From Sam Kendrick’s patriotic moment to Usain Bolt’s “triple-triple,” check out the best moments from the 2016 Rio Olympics track and field competition.

You can watch all of these moments here.