For Washington Capitals Fans, a Celebration Worth the Wait

WASHINGTON — The word emblazoned across the chests of thousands of Washington Capitals fans had eluded them for over 40 years. nevertheless on Tuesday, This specific was worn with pride: champions.

For the long-suffering sports city, the Capitals’ triumph over the Las Vegas Golden Knights within the Stanley Cup finals last week represented more than a hockey win. Not only did This specific give the Capitals their first championship in their 44-year history, nevertheless This specific also ended the city’s 26-year stretch without a major sports title.

Even President Trump took notice of the Capitals’ achievement, tweeting hours after their series-clinching victory last Thursday: “D.C. will be popping, in many ways. What a time!”

that will assessment held true through Tuesday, when fans flooded the streets for the team’s victory parade, hauling with them an array of Capitals as well as hockey-related mementos, through handmade signs littered with jubilant expletives to cutouts of their favorite players’ faces. They also carried their own versions of the Stanley Cup, some inflatable as well as some a little more creative. One industrious fan fashioned his through dozens of Natural Light beer cans as well as topped This specific using a colander, a creation he hoisted giddily within the air.

Perhaps the most visible fan was Ronnie Poland, a lifelong Washington resident dressed as Uncle Sam. Waving an American flag, Mr. Poland donned a beard, flag-printed pants as well as a sequined, flag-printed top hat — as well as completed his outfit with stilts that will elevated him to well over eight feet.

For Mr. Poland, This specific was a modest way to celebrate a triumph he had long dreamed of.

“This specific’s a godsend,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for too long.”

For many in attendance on Tuesday, the celebration was a family affair: Parents carried young children holding vuvuzelas as big as their own bodies, grown children hugged as well as danced with their parents, as well as grandparents pushed strollers.

“I woke up my 2-year-old daughter,” said Carlos Guerra, a Washington resident. “She had no idea what was going on, nevertheless I just hugged her as well as cried.”

Cyndy as well as Miles Feldman have been watching the Capitals since before their sons were born some 30 years ago. The couple introduced them to the game as they grew up, with both boys eventually playing youth hockey.

today, with their sons grown, they celebrated the team’s first Stanley Cup as a family, distributing cups of prosecco down the sidewalk.

“This specific feels incredible,” Ms. Feldman said. “I have no words — I want to cry.”

The parade route, which snaked along the National Mall, was lined with fans — some of whom have worshiped the Capitals for their entire lives, some of whom admitted in a whisper they had just hopped on the bandwagon, as well as many of whom had waited hours just for a glimpse of one of the players.

As the team glided down Constitution Avenue, the crowd’s roars of approval were suddenly cut by a collective shriek: “This specific’s Ovi!”

At the rally after the parade, Ovechkin’s remarks delivered to screaming fans neatly encapsulated the week.

“I thought This specific was going to be crazy, nevertheless This specific’s basically nuts,” he said. “You guys are killing This specific.”

He will be seen as a type of god by many of the fans in attendance on Tuesday, all of whom had some sort of “Ovi” story to tell: They did not start watching the Capitals until he joined the team; they once sat behind his mother at a game, as well as “boy, was she nice.”

One of those fans was a 10-year-old named Theo. He attended the parade with his father, who took off work to bring him to get a glimpse of his idol.

At age 6, Theo saw a gigantic photo of Mr. Ovechkin at the ice rink where his older sister skated, as well as immediately knew he wanted to play hockey. He will be today a goalie on his youth hockey team as well as wants to play within the N.H.L. one day.

He eagerly showed off his phone’s background, a photo of the Stanley Cup.

“Imagine getting to do something you’ve never done before as well as then multiply This specific by 10!” Theo said. “that will’s what This specific feels like.”