Washington Capitals captain, Alexander Ovechkin says he is excited to represent Russia at the winter Olympics in Sochi next month.
Ovechkin was speaking on NBC's Today Show: "I'm very excited, it's a big honor for me, for my country."
The Russian has represented his country at two Olympic games in addition to a number of junior and senior events. However Ovechkin claims that it is different this year with a lot of pressure on the Russian squad.
"Everybody wants to win a gold medal, especially when playing at home," Ovechkin said. "I'm sure every hockey player, every fan in Russia, wants us to win. But it's going to be hard because every team has a strong team. It's going to be a battle."
There have also been concerns about safety in the run up to the winter Olympics. Some critics have even said the United States should boycott the games.
Ovechkin believes that the event will be safe for everyone involved however:
"I don’t think it’s going to be dangerous. Because I think our President Putin said we have some secret stuff up there, but I’m sure everything’s going to be fine and everybody’s going to be healthy and everybody going to have a good time."
The winter Olympics will start on the 6th February with the hockey tournament beginning on the 8th February.