I have written a number of times on the USA hockey “Miracle On Ice” in 1980- the greatest sporting event I have ever seen. Not only their beating the mighty Soviet team but winning the gold medal at the Lake Placid games. It still amazes me that they won. I can remember that entire Friday and the anticipation going into the game like it was yesterday. I can still feel it.
Going into the Olympics everyone following it in the USA would have been thrilled beyond belief with even a bronze medal. I was in college at the time and would gather each evening to watch the Olympics and especially Team USA hockey. This was back in the day when the games were only televised during the weekdays during prime time, often on tape delay. The hockey team became a focal point after the last minute goal scoring tie in the first game against Sweden- which was key- a loss their and its unlikely anything big happens.
Going into that game against the Soviets- we may have been delusional but we thought we had a fighting chance. The score was 3-3 when Mike Eruzione scored and the next ten minutes lasted forever. “Do You Believe In Miracles!” In 1999 Sports Illustrated named “The Miracle On Ice” the greatest sports moment of the 20th Century. I agree. After the game ABC Olympic host- the great Jim McKay said “Team USA beating the Soviets would be like a Canadian college football team beating the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.” The only thing I can think of that could come close in America at least would be if next year the US would win the soccer World Cup. That would be a miracle but still not as big of a miracle as this was.
I thought I’d never see anything that was as incredible as 1980 USA Hockey’s run but last season’s Leicester City’s winning the Premier League was just as unbelievable. Even the Cleveland Browns winning this years Super Bowl would be more likely than those two.
I bought the t-shirt above on line a dozen years ago along with a Team USA Hockey cap. It’s hard to believe that all those boys are now around sixty years old- give or take a few years.