WASHINGTON – Residents of Washington put aside their social and political differences on Tuesday to unite downtown in a massive celebration of the city’s first sports title since 1992, thanks to the National Hockey League champions Washington Capitals.
More than 100,000 people formed a long Capitals-red tide along Constitution Avenue, which runs north of the Capitol and past the Washington Monument.
“It’s the first time we have won an important title in 26 years and this has caused great happiness,” Daniela Yager, a staunch Caps fan who joined the celebration Tuesday with a big group of friends, told EFE.
The last time Washington residents were able to celebrate a championship of this standing was in 1992, when the NFL Redskins won the Super Bowl.
As for the Caps, it’s the first championship in their 44-year history.
Many private businesses chose to let their workers go enjoy the festive atmosphere and federal government employees were allowed to take two hours off to join the party.
Some 46 vehicles had to go by before the open-top bus arrived carrying the two most awaited elements of the day: the Stanley Cup trophy and Capitals captain and star Alex Ovechkin.
The Stanley Cup, originally created in 1892, is the only trophy in US major league sports that doesn’t have a new one made every year, and it is engraved with the names of all the players who have at some time been NHL champions.
However, Ovechkin was really what most of the applause was about along the route.
“Alexander the Great” was a key component of the team throughout the championship and in its final stretch, since he scored a record-tying 15 goals in the playoffs.
“Alex was really incredible,” a euphoric Marly Fox told EFE after seeing the Russian go by.