Capitals host deaf hockey participant Keivonn Woodard at facility

Keivonn Woodard stood contained in the Washington Capitals’ dressing room. In his proper hand was a hockey stick signed by famous person Alex Ovechkin. Using his left hand, Woodard was educating Ovechkin find out how to say his personal nickname utilizing American Sign Language.

Ovechkin made an “O” together with his hand, which Woodard barely adjusted. Then a “V,” earlier than closing his fist and increasing his pinkie finger for an “I.” Woodard nodded his approval, smiling extensively.

Woodard, a deaf participant on the Bowie Hockey Club under-10 workforce in Maryland, had a shock go to with Ovechkin on the Capitals’ observe facility in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday. Woodard mentioned his objective is to be the primary deaf Black NHL participant.

“I can’t believe it. This is a dream of mine,” mentioned Woodard by means of an ASL interpreter after assembly Ovechkin.

Woodard, 10, can also be an aspiring actor, showing as Sam Burrell on HBO’s new hit collection “The Last of Us.”

Woodard skated on the Capitals’ observe rink and took half in some capturing drills with ahead Nicolas Aube-Kubel and goalie Charlie Lindgren. In addition to assembly Ovechkin, he additionally frolicked with former Capitals participant Devante Smith-Pelly.

The Capitals granted the Bowie Hockey Club $10,000 earlier this yr, with a portion of that cash used to assist Woodard by offering an ASL interpreter on the ice and particular tools throughout video games. He’ll attend the Capitals’ “Celebrating Black History” recreation on Saturday in opposition to the New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN+).

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