On February 22, 1980, in the 1980 Winter Olympics’ the Men’s U.S. Olympic Hockey Team defeated the Soviet Union’s Men’s Olympic Hockey Team in what has become known as the “Miracle on Ice.” The Soviet Union when entering the 1980 Olympics had won the gold medal in five of the six previous Winter Olympic Games, and to say the least they were heavily favored to win the gold again in Lake Placid. The Soviet team consisted of mostly professional players with experience in international play. The United States team consisted of mostly amateur players of which four had minimal minor-league experience. In addition, this U.S. team represented the youngest team in the tournament and in U.S. national team history.
The United States Team was able to get to the medal round through a 2-2 draw with Sweden and my defeating Czechoslovakia 7-3 in an upset victory. The Czechoslovakian’s were favored to take the second overall place in these Olympics. In the first game of the medal round the first quarter ended in a 2-2 tie, the second period ended with the Soviets holding a 3-2 lead. But midway through the third quarter the United States scored twice and held on to defeat the Soviet Union 4-3. The U.S. then when on to defeat Finland to take home the gold. In the final seconds of the game, Al Michaels for ABC Sports declared: “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” The doubters of the sports world became believers because for what they have seen. The “Miracle on Ice,” went on to become a best-selling book and inspired two movies.