There are certain events in life that stand the test of time and are forged in history forever. Some good and some bad, then there are ones that are so rare and unbelievable they end up on a podium by themselves. In America we experienced one of those events; it took place on a winter afternoon some thirty two years ago and will forever be known as the
“Miracle on Ice.”
It occurred when the 1980 U. S. Olympic Hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in a medal-round game. Now some of you may say who cares? It was just some stupid hockey game. Well you first need to consider and understand the dynamics behind it, in order to appreciate what it gave to us and the impact that it had across the nation. There was the decades-old Cold War still going on with the Soviets. President Jimmy Carter was considering a Boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics, to be held in Moscow, in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and there was also 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran at the time. To say that tensions were high around the world would be a gross under statement!
The Soviets were then considered the greatest hockey team on earth, better than our professional NHL teams. They had won the previous four Gold medals and had not lost an Olympic hockey game since 1968. The U.S. team was made up of a bunch of young amateur college kids. Most Americans were just hoping the slaughter that was going to take place that day on our home soil was not too awful and maybe our boys could at least make it a respectable defeat. No one on the face of the earth had given these boys a chance to pull off an upset that would shock the world, except one person in particular, their coach, the late Herb Brooks.
Once on the ice and as the game started to unfolded and take shape, people slowly started to tune in and get interested. I would imagine most Americans including myself had not watched a lot of hockey in their lifetime prior to this as it was not the most popular of sports here in our country. Well that pretty much all changed when Team Captain and Elder Statesmen of the group, Mike Eruzione scored the go ahead and eventual game wining goal with exactly 10 minutes left to play and put the Americans up by a score of 4 to 3. I remember thinking to myself at the time; hey this is not going to be a blow out after all. Then as the clock got under 2 minutes, I said to my mom and dad; they are going to win! They are going to beat those Communist Bastards! What we all heard next was simply the stuff Legends are made of; it was Al Michael’s famous television call.
“11 seconds, you’ve got 10 seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in Miracles? YES!”
What followed next in that Lake Placid Hockey Arena was pure joy and pandemonium! That same joy and pandemonium spilled over to every bar, street corner and into every living room across America. It lasted for what seemed like days and even got a bigger boost when the kids went on to capture the gold medal by winning its last game over Finland. It was a special moment, one that brought the country together with great pride and overwhelming joy! Everyone was proud to be an American and nothing else seemed to matter for that small period in time. It had no boundaries; gender, race, politics and religion had suddenly vanished! This was perhaps the last time in our history; that the “Entire Nation” has shared a moment like this. Hopefully history will repeat itself someday soon, as we are desperately in need of another Miraculous Moment.
*** Special Thanks to Michael Burgess the Author of the New Book:
“A Long Shot To Glory”
Michael took the time to pay us a visit here at GoodTimeTherapy.com and gave us a great compliment on the article. I would just like to say thank you and that I greatly appreciate it! – Rodney
“I loved your comments on the Miracle on Ice Moment.” – Michael Burgess
I recently published a book on the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid called A Long Shot to Glory: How Lake Placid Saved the Winter Olympics and Restored the Nation’s Pride. I wanted to give the fuller story of how those games came to be in 1980 that produced the Miracle on Ice and how a small town overcame all the financial and political hurdles to produce such a memorable moment of national pride and patriotism that no one who was alive can forget.
You can get a copy of his book at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com and you can reach him by email at: email@example.com as he would greatly appreciate your feedback about his book.