Of course when we think of Washington Capital captain and star forward Alex Ovechkin, we go to his scoring abilities, his lightning-fast speed and his raw talent, but his gap-tooth smile has almost too become a trademark for the left winger.
And without knowing, Ovehckin and his broken smile have helped a young 17-year-old girl overcome the worst time of her life. The Russian Machine Never Breaks blog published a beautiful story on Wednesday, explaining how Ovi's goofy smile was one of the reasons why Nikki Goldstone got through the most difficult time of her young life.
The Russian Machine Never Breaks explains that Goldstone was standing on the bumper of her friend's immobile car, acting like Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic, when the vehicle started moving. Then, it was too late:
“For a brief moment, I actually felt euphoria, until, without realizing that I was perched there, my friend began to drive away.”
"As the car accelerated, Nikki began to fall and she tried to desperately grab onto the roof rack. Her grip was too weak and she slammed chin-first against the asphalt. As she laid flat on the ground, Nikki was unable to tell precisely where pangs of intense pain were coming from. Then she looked down and saw a piece of her exposed hipbone and a pool of her own blood. Nikki’s jaw was fractured in four places and four of her teeth were pushed up into her gums and in her lips.
Convinced that she was going to die, Nikki recalled telling her friends to tell her family she loved them," you can read in the tragic story.
While she was lucky to be alive, Goldstone woke up from emergency surgery to find her jaw wired shut for the next six following weeks. A hard time for the young woman, who found her confidence by seeing Ovechkin rock a missing-tooth look.
“I had a rough time at prom, but I called my friend Abigail who reminded me that it was not about looks, but who you are as a person,” Nikki, as Caps fan explained. “She told me to think of Ovi.”
" Even though she didn’t look like a typical Disney princess, she looked “like one of the coolest people out there: a hockey player," added the Russian Machine Never Breaks.
“I want the Capitals to know that they got me through one of the hardest times of my life, and taught me to accept and love myself,” Nikki said. “They made me feel not alone, at a time when I felt scared to look in the mirror.”
While Nikki has to wait until she turns 22 to get implants in her mouth, for now, she wears special dentures. Her perfect smile will eventually return, but for now, we are pretty sure Ovechkin would say it looks perfect as it is.
See a picture of Nikki below, published by the Russian Machine Never Breaks:
What a beautiful story.