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For Washington Capitals Fans, a Celebration Worth the Wait

WASHINGTON — The phrase emblazoned around the chests of 1000’s of Washington Capitals enthusiasts had eluded them for over 40 years. However on Tuesday, it used to be worn with delight: champions.

For the long-suffering sports activities town, the Capitals’ overcome the Las Vegas Golden Knights within the Stanley Cup finals ultimate week represented greater than a hockey win. Now not simplest did it give the Capitals their first championship of their 44-year historical past, however it additionally ended the town’s 26-year stretch with no main sports activities identify.

Even President Trump took notice of the Capitals’ achievement, tweeting hours after their series-clinching victory ultimate Thursday: “D.C. is turning, in some ways. What a time!”

That review held true via Tuesday, when enthusiasts flooded the streets for the staff’s victory parade, hauling with them an array of Capitals and hockey-related mementos, from hand-crafted indicators suffering from jubilant expletives to cutouts in their favourite gamers’ faces. In addition they carried their very own variations of the Stanley Cup, some inflatable and a few somewhat extra inventive. One industrious fan shaped his from dozens of Herbal Mild beer cans and crowned it with a colander, a advent he hoisted giddily within the air.

Possibly essentially the most visual fan used to be Ronnie Poland, a lifelong Washington resident dressed as Uncle Sam. Waving an American flag, Mr. Poland donned a beard, flag-printed pants and a sequined, flag-printed most sensible hat — and finished his outfit with stilts that increased him to smartly over 8 ft.

For Mr. Poland, it used to be a small solution to rejoice a triumph he had lengthy dreamed of.

“It’s a godsend,” he stated. “We’ve been looking ahead to too lengthy.”

For lots of in attendance on Tuesday, the birthday celebration used to be a circle of relatives affair: Folks carried babies preserving vuvuzelas as large as their very own our bodies, grown youngsters hugged and danced with their folks, and grandparents driven strollers.

“I aroused from sleep my 2-year-old daughter,” stated Carlos Guerra, a Washington resident. “She had no thought what used to be happening, however I simply hugged her and cried.”

Cyndy and Miles Feldman were observing the Capitals since prior to their sons have been born some 30 years in the past. The couple offered them to the sport as they grew up, with each boys in the end enjoying formative years hockey.

Now, with their sons grown, they celebrated the staff’s first Stanley Cup as a circle of relatives, distributing cups of prosecco down the sidewalk.

“It feels fantastic,” Ms. Feldman stated. “I don’t have any phrases — I need to cry.”

The parade course, which snaked alongside the Nationwide Mall, used to be coated with enthusiasts — a few of whom have worshiped the Capitals for his or her complete lives, a few of whom admitted in a whisper that they had simply hopped at the bandwagon, and lots of of whom had waited hours only for a glimpse of probably the most gamers.

Because the staff glided down Charter Street, the group’s roars of approval have been unexpectedly reduce by way of a collective shriek: “It’s Ovi!”

In a town that can’t appear to rid itself of Russia’s specter, the megastar on the middle of the Capitals’ good fortune, and whose identify is engraved upon the enthusiasts’ hearts, is the staff captain, Alex Ovechkin. The town’s personal self-described “Russian device” and Putin fan inspired a frenzy in the crowd, some of whom had donned his Team Russia jersey, lettered in Cyrillic.

Just days prior, Ovechkin proved not only that “Russian machine never breaks,” as he famously has said, but also that Russian machine knows how to party. After returning from Las Vegas, Ovechkin, teammates in tow, toted the Stanley Cup through the city, to fans’ delight. He did a keg stand with it in Georgetown, threw out the primary pitch at a Nationals recreation and posed for footage with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

On the rally after the parade, Ovechkin’s remarks dropped at screaming enthusiasts smartly encapsulated the week.

“I believed it used to be going to be loopy, however it’s principally nuts,” he stated. “You guys are killing it.”

He’s observed as one of those god by way of most of the enthusiasts in attendance on Tuesday, all of whom had some form of “Ovi” tale to inform: They didn’t get started observing the Capitals till he joined the staff; they as soon as sat at the back of his mom at a recreation, and “boy, used to be she great.”

A kind of enthusiasts used to be a 10-year-old named Theo. He attended the parade along with his father, who took off paintings to carry him to get a glimpse of his idol.

At age 6, Theo noticed a big photograph of Mr. Ovechkin on the ice rink the place his older sister skated, and right away knew he sought after to play hockey. He’s now a goalie on his formative years hockey staff and needs to play within the N.H.L. someday.

He eagerly confirmed off his telephone’s background, a photograph of the Stanley Cup.

“Believe attending to do one thing you’ve by no means executed prior to after which multiply it by way of 10!” Theo stated. “That’s what this seems like.”

A model of this newsletter seems in print on , on Web page B15 of the New York version with the headline: A Capital Birthday party: ‘We’ve Been Looking ahead to Too Lengthy’. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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