While participating in a skating session with the American Special Hockey Association, Alex Ovechkin was approached by 10-year-old Ann Schaab, who wondered if the 29-year-old star was interested in some sushi. The team and 29-year-old star responded in a way that blew away the expectations of a young girl who has Down syndrome (and a dream of marrying the All-Star forward) by doing that much and more, as CSNWashington.com reports.
Ovechkin spent time with Ann by giving her a grand Capitals tour (including a visit to a smelly locker room), rode in a car with her and indeed treated her to a “dinner date.”
(He stopped short of accepting her marriage proposal, though.)
It’s apparently not the only time that the Capitals have done something special for the Schaab family, either:
Lou Schaab said Ovechkin probably doesn’t know this, but Sunday’s date day was his family’s second personal encounter with Ovechkin. During Ovechkin’s second season with the Caps in 2007, Schaab said he took Louis to a game and the two were cheering so enthusiastically that Capitals owner Ted Leonsis invited them into the Caps’ locker room after the game.
“I never thought there would be a day to top that,” Lou Schaab said. “But this tops that. The Capitals really know how to make people feel special. Ann had a hop in her step all day. And by the time we hit the BW Parkway she was fast asleep.”
They went into the gym, which seemed so big, and into the film room, where she wondered if the players watched “Modern Family” and sat in the front-row seat she believed Ovechkin would use. Out in the hallway they found another picture of Ovechkin, holding the old blue jersey, and Ann loved that, because she had the same one at home.
Next came the locker room, which didn’t smell so bad, and over to Ovechkin’s stall, where Ann put on his helmet, which did smell bad, so she made a stinky face. She wondered what could be cooler than this and thought, maybe, asking Ovechkin to marry her would compare. So she stuck out her hand, aimed at her mother, Melissa, and beckoned.
“Mom,” she said. “Ring. Please.”
Yep, that’s adorable stuff. Maybe it will even inspire Ovechkin’s critics to spew a little less venom going forward?
(Maybe not, but it’s a pretty tremendous thing to do, either way.)
Click here for a great video of the heart-warming gesture. Monumental Network also put together a fantastic slideshow of Anne Schaab’s experiences, with photos like these ranking among the highlights:
Here’s a great shot of Ann with Ovechkin, Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom:
Fantastic stuff from the Capitals and their captain.