In One Shot: How U.S. did miracle on ice

Photo: ESPN

True sportsmen never give up, even when they have no chance to win.

This edition of Mediamax Sport’s In One Shot series is dedicated to U.S. hockey players, who made history in 1980.  

The United States hosted Winter Olympics in 1980, and the team was going to face the Soviet Union in a semi-finals game. Tensions were high between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the 80s due to the Cold War, which gave the game some extra intrigue.

Of U.S. and Soviet teams, the latter was the favorite. The Soviet Union had won the gold medal in five of the six previous Winter Olympic Games, and 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, consisted exclusively of amateur players. It is noteworthy that this was the youngest team in U.S. national team history.

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. U.S. became Olympic champion.

ABC reporter Al Michaels made comments that hockey world remembers up today: “Do you believe in miracles?! YES!” This game remained in history as “Miracle on Ice”.

The players told later that they found their coach Herb Brooks crying in the locker room after the incredible game.

In 1999, Sports Illustrated named the “Miracle on Ice” the top sports moment of the 20th century. 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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