Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Miracle on Ice
In the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, the USA Ice Hockey Team became known as the "miracle on ice".
A team made up of collefe hockey players, instead of the obvious choice of NHL players gave America something to feel good about. After the Vietnam War, The Watergate scandal, and rising unemployment of the 1970s, things were not looking good at the turn of the century. To make things more difficult for the USA, the year of the olympics, the USSR had just invaded Afghanistan, and as the games opened there were still 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran.
America did not have much, if anything, to be hopeful for. This was the attitude people felt towards the USA hockey team going into the Olympics. The year before the Soviets had crushed the NHL All Stars 6-0 and the team had lost 10-3 to the Soviets during a pre-Olympic exhibition game. The USA couldnt beat the Europeans on skill alone, but with a hard year and a half of practice and building, Brooks put together a team that emphasized on speed, conditioning, and displine.
The team met the Soviets in the semi final which to everyones suprise resulted in a 4-3 win for the USA. This success alone uplifted the spirits of Americans after a decade of doom and despair. It created a renewal of patriotism before the team had even played the final. They went on to defeat Finland 4-2, and won the gold medal.
The line most commonly associated with the Miracle on Ice is "it gace the country a reason to feel good again". Once again Americans had reason to be proud to be Americans. Although it was only a sporting event, the defeat of the Soviets was hugely symbolic, and gave the USA the boost it needed.