Southern Belle newsflash: I don’t do hockey because it’s too cold. Anything that involves below freezing temps is not for me – hence, the reason I moved to Florida. HOWEVER, I did watch a hockey game that I’ll never forget. It was one for the record books and still considered the greatest hockey moment in Olympic history.
After 35 years, it’s actually one of the greatest sports moments of all time – MIRACLE ON ICE.
On February 22, 1980 in Lake Placid, NY the Soviet Union hockey team faced the USA in the medal round of the Olympic Games. The heavy favorite was the USSR – a long time worldwide dominant team. The Soviets had won the gold medal in six of the seven previous Olympics, but things changed that night when the gutsy Americans, led by Coach Herb Brooks, upset the Soviets to advance and ultimately win the gold medal.
What’s even more amazing is the fact that 99% of the American team consisted of amateurs and college kids. TALK ABOUT MIRACLES…
In 1980, there were about three television channels and the only remote control was whoever got up and turned the knob – there were no sports networks. If sports were aired, it was only because it was a special on prime time. Our TV was on a rolling tray – remember those? AND, it had rabbit ears. For those too young to know what that means, it was the equivalent to the Wi-Fi of today – it allowed you to get a signal.
On that miraculous night the commentary sounded something like this…
“It’s the end of the first period – USA is tied 2-2 with the Soviets. Mark Johnson gets goal number three for the USA. With ten minutes left in the game, USA’s Mike Eruzione scores the fourth and winning goal. USA defeats the Soviets 4-3.”
I’ll forever remember the chant of the crowd that ensued… USA-USA-USA.