Saku Koivu Bolsters Already Impressive International Resume

Eric SteitzAnalyst IIIJuly 22, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 14:  Saku Koivu #11 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during warm-up prior to the NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center on March 14, 2012 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Anaheim Ducks forward Saku Koivu has had an impressive international career. Koivu has won Olympic medals, IIHF medals and been named Finnish national team captain.  

The Turku, Finland native can add another international honor after being named as an Olympic torchbearer for the London 2012 games (via NHL.com).

Koivu will take the torch on July 24, three days before the opening ceremonies, through the London borough of Hillingdon.

Hillingdon is about 25 miles away from the Olympic Stadium downtown.

Koivu is not the only hockey player to play a part in the Olympic traditions in recent years.

In 2010, Wayne Gretzky served as the Olympic cauldron lighter in Vancouver. That same year, Sidney Crosby, Trevor Linden and Stan Smyl were all torchbearers. 

Koivu, who is entering his fourth season with the Ducks, has won three bronze medals in the Winter Olympics and a silver medal in 2006 when we was the tournament's top scorer and All-Star.

The 37-year-old was named captain of Team Finland in 1997 and has held that position since, except for a short stint in the 2008 World Championships.

Koivu also helped Team Finland to the IIHF gold medal in 1995.

He was the captain of the Montreal Canadiens for 10 seasons and is the first European to ever hold that post for the Habs.

The torch-bearing tradition dates back to Ancient Greece. During the games, the flame burned continuously, signifying peace throughout the duration.