It's hard to believe, but on February 22, it will be 35 years since the historic "Miracle on Ice" game unfolded at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. As an avid hockey fan, it still boggles my mind that a bunch of college kids, led by Coach Herb Brooks, was able to beat the Soviet Red Army team of grown men who hadn't been beaten in Olympic play in 12 years.
And it was so much more than a hockey game. It was the height of the Cold War, and just a couple of months before the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, seriously damaging relations between the United States and Russia. Americans wanted blood, but no one believed the United States could win. The Soviets had beaten a team of NHL All-Stars 6-0 in the deciding game of a challenge series the previous summer. How could college kids top the play of professional NHL superstars? Well, they did.
I will never forget broadcaster Al Michaels counting down the final seconds and screaming, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" when the United States won. The stadium of 8,500 people erupted. American flags waved, people screamed with joy and the Russians were stunned into silence. The U.S. team then went on to beat Finland for the gold medal, but the real game was against the Soviets. That improbable, nerve-wracking, heart-stopping victory was named the top sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. If you want to relive that moment or learn more about it, check out the books and DVDs below:
Miracles, Shockers, and Long Shots by Barry Wilner describes the upset of the Soviet hockey team by the United States at the winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. It also includes 19 stories of upsets in baseball, boxing and other sports.
The Boys of Winter by Wayne Coffey is an evocative account of the hard work, skill and luck that led Team USA's ice hockey team to victory over the Soviets at the 1980 Olympics.
You Can't Make This up by Al Michaels is an entertaining memoir by one of TV's most respected broadcasters. He details many of the major sporting events he covered during his career including the "Miracle on Ice" team of the 1980 Olympics.
Miracle: The movie that tells the exhilarating true story of the 1980 U.S. hockey team's victory over the Soviet Union.