Ovechkin has been named an All-Star 11 times in his career, but like he has done a few times in the past, the Caps star will be skipping the game to focus on his fitness and keeping himself healthy for the second half of the season.
“I think the most important thing right now for me is not to go play in the All-Star Game,” Ovechkin told Men’s Journal. “It’s fun, it’s a privilege, but I have to make a decision on what’s better for me in this time of the year. I’m not 23 years old anymore. I need to get ready for the playoffs and the second half of the year.”
At 34 years old, Ovechkin still remains a top NHL player, but as he gets older, he also understands he needs to watch out for how his body feels going through the long hockey season. Men’s Journal previously spoke with Ovechkin about how he trains in the offseason, and his focus on his workouts is one reason why he’s been able to be successful for so long in the league.
“Without training, I’m nothing; If I’m not training, I’m done,” Ovechkin said. “Any athlete, they have to train and they have to practice to win games. For sure. One hundred percent. You have to be training. I do a lot of squats, I do a lot of bench pressing. But legs are very important for me. It’s more important than arms and shoulders.”
Ovechkin also left some advice for athletes out there when it comes to training: “Just work out. Don’t be lazy,” Ovechkin said. “If you take a day off, you’re going to be fat and you’re going to look terrible.”
Watch the full video above for more on Ovechkin and why he’s skipping the All-Star game.
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