U.S. Olympic Hockey Team "Miracle on Ice"
Forty years ago, on February 22. 1980, the "Miracle on Ice", occurred when United States Men's Olympic Ice Hockey team defeated the far superior the four-time defending gold medalists, the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.
The Soviet Union had won the gold medal in five of the six previous Winter Olympic Games, and were the favorites to win once more in Lake Placid. The team consisted primarily of professional players with significant experience in international play. By contrast, the United States' team, led by head coach Herb Brooks, was comprised mostly amateur players. With only four players with minimal minor-league experience, the United States was the youngest team in the tournament and in U.S. national team history.
For the first game in the medal round, the United States played the Soviets. Finishing the first period tied at 2–2, and the Soviets leading 3–2 following the second, the U.S. team scored two more goals to take their first lead during the third and final period, winning the game 4–3. Following the game, the U.S. won the gold medal by beating Finland in their final game. Likewise, the Soviet Union took the silver medal by beating Sweden.
Here is a clip featuring Al Michaels, reliving the experience of The Miracle on Ice game:
News reports of the reaction of the Soviet Union towards the shocking U.S. victory was not a favorable one:
The victory became one of the most iconic moments of the Games and in U.S. sports. Equally well-known was the television call of the final seconds of the game by Al Michaels for ABC, in which he declared: "Do you believe in miracles? YES!" In 1999, Sports Illustrated named the "Miracle on Ice" the top sports moment of the 20th century. As part of its centennial celebration in 2008, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) named the "Miracle on Ice" as the best international ice hockey story of the past 100 years.
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