Do you believe in miracles (on ice)? | National Museum of American History

I’ve been an avid sports fan since 1967 when I was six years old. The greatest moment in my 50 plus years as a sports fan came 40 years ago this evening. 1980 Winter Olympics. Lake Placid, New York. With exactly 10 minutes to go and the score tied 3-3- Mike Eruzione scored putting the US up 4-3. The next ten minutes seemed like a lifetime but they held on to upset the greatest hockey team in the world the USSR 4-3. Two days later they beat Finland 4-2 to win the Gold Medal. As ABC Olympic host Jim McKay said after the game- Team USA – a team full of college students beating the professional USSR team- would be like a college team from Canada defeating the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. At the end of the 20th century this game would be named as the greatest American sports moment of the entire century.


  1. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I was really introduced to hockey with this game. Where I live…hockey could have been played on Mars…we just didn’t see it. It was so exciting to see it because I never thought they would win…I’m glad that it’s changed here now since the Predators came to town.

  2. I bet that game had a lot to do with hockey eventually having teams in areas that traditionally you wouldn’t think of as hockey towns- like Nashville. At the time there were few American born players in the NHL- it was a story when an American born player made the NHL in the mid 1970’s- now no one even thinks about it-.. I can’t believe 40 years have gone by. The details of that day- I could give you more on what I did that day than I could last Monday…

  3. It really was a cool thing. As a hockey fan it was just a great game. If ever there was a David/Goliath this was it. I have no idea the impact it had down south of the border but I know a lot of American sports casters still rave about it. Truly amazing. A goalie that played out of his mind didnt hurt. Great sporting event.

    • i was in college and a friend and i were following it all closely- the American’s were playing so well we thought- there is a chance against the Russians- maybe a 1 out of 10 chance but we felt positive going into that one that it would be at least a close game… amazing.

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