SOCHI, February 10 (R-Sport) – What’s a gold medal worth at the Sochi Olympics? $50 billion, if you’re Russian hockey star Alex Ovechkin.
That’s approximately the reported cost of building and hosting Russia’s first Winter Olympics, and for Ovechkin, it will all pay off if only Russia can win the men’s hockey gold medal game February 23.
If Russia can end a gold medal-less streak dating back to the Soviet victory at Calgary 1988, “It means gold only costs $50 billion,” the Washington Capitals forward said after training in Sochi.
A cost estimate by the Russian government for infrastructure and hosting costs for the Games put the cost at $51 billion last year, although Russian officials and the International Olympic Committee have since said it is only fair to count $6.4 billion of direct hosting costs.
Russia’s hockey tournament starts Thursday against Slovenia in the preliminaries, before taking on the United States on Saturday and Slovakia on Sunday.
Ovechkin trained on the same line as Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Caroline Hurricanes wing Alexander Semin on Monday.