The Miracle on Ice


“Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?”

We all know the story. Twenty American kids, none older than 25-year-old team captain Mike Eruzione, banded together to earn perhaps the most improbable upset in all of sports.

February 22, 1980, in Lake Placid, New York, and the Winter Olympics were drawing to a close. The only golds the US had won to that point were Eric Heiden’s five on the speed skating oval. The threat of a US boycott of the summer games planned for Moscow was looming, and the Iran Hostage Crisis was just entering its fourth month.

Then along comes this group of college kids wearing USA on their hockey sweaters, and all of a sudden, we really have something to cheer about. Even if we couldn’t believe what we were seeing.

Going into the match, we all knew we were going to get smoked. Creamed. The Soviet Union had trounced its first two opponents 16-0 and 17-4, after all.

But once the game got going, things were actually went okay. Sure, the Soviets scored mid-way through the first period to take the lead, but our boys were hanging tough, and just five minutes later, we tied it up.

Hold up a second. Do we really have a chance to not get embarrassed here? (Never mind winning… that certainly wasn’t going to happen.)

Indeed we did. And by the time the final buzzer sounded, the US actually had achieved the impossible, a 4-3 victory. The stars and stripes had whomped the hammer and sickle. America had taken down Russia. Good had pushed back evil. Right beat might.

Interestingly enough, even though it happened on our own shores, no one even knew about it when it happened (unless you happened to be in the Lake Placid vicinity.) The game was shown on tape delay several hours after it ended, but without CNN, ESPN, the Internet, or any other real means to spread the news, no one knew what to expect when they turned on the TV that Friday night. What they got was nothing short of a miracle, and announcer Al Michaels knew it.

And then, there’s the whole misconception that this win over the Soviets earned the US the gold medal. Not so fast, friend. It only won us a spot in the final game against Finland. Which we won. And then we got the gold medal.

But enough about the hardware. Point is, we beat the Russians. And it was the best way we could imagine to begin our favorite decade.

So you’re asking if we believe in miracles? Yes. Yes we do.

We ♥ the Miracle on Ice.

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~ by weheart80s on March 25, 2011.

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