Can sports truly change a country? Can one game actually turn the collective mood of the entire population of a nation? For many historians, one hockey game, which took place 31 years ago today, may have done just that, the Miracle on Ice.
Now I can’t speak to whether or not the USA’s epic win over the Soviet Union in the medal-round of the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid actually had the kind of lasting impact on the psyche of the nation some historians like to claim, but I do know it had quite an impact on me. I was only a little boy in 1980, and if you remember correctly the game was not shown live, but instead in prime time tape-delay. Coming home from work, my father knew the result and urged his two sons, both of whom were unaware of the delay, to watch the game. Needless to say, it was one of those handful of games that caused a lifelong addiction to sports.
I can still remember having the phrase “Do you believe in Miracles??” stuck in my head for days. I was a soccer player as a kid, and a baseball addict, but from that moment on, I couldn’t resist a good hockey game. Despite the addition of professional players to the games, and the certain over commercialization of the Olympics since that memorable event, I still get excited about watching the hockey tournament during the Winter Olympics. Cheers to that amazing team!
by Dave McBride