Do You Believe in Miracles …


 

Over the years, there have been many great moments in sport …

… in college football, The Play (“The Bears Win, the Bears Win”)…

… in professional football, the Immaculate Reception and The Catch …

… giving a nod to Major League Baseball about which I otherwise don’t care … the historic home runs by Bobby Thomson, Bill Mazeroski and Kirk Gibson …

… and the Olympic triumphs of Billy Mills in the 1964 10,000 meters, Dave Wottle in the 1972 500 meters and the incomparable long jump by Bob Beamon in the 1968 Olympics …

… BUT …

… when it comes to great moments in sport, the greatest of all, in my opinion, occurred 35 years ago today …

The Miracle on Ice

… the 4-3 win by the U. S. Olympic Hockey team over the Russians …

… immortalized by the call of Al Michaels …

Do You Believe in MiraclesThe Russian hockey team came to the 1980 Olympics, held at Lake Placid, New York, as prohibitive gold medal favorites …

… they were, after all, a team of professionals in what was then supposed to be an amateur sport …

… supported full time by the Russian government.

The American team, on the other hand, was a collection of amateurs who were molded into a formidable opponent for the Russians by their hard-driving coach, Herb Brooks …

The Miracle on Herb Brooks CoachThe Americans and Russians met in one of the Olympic semi-final games on February 22, 1980 … and the Russians held a 3-2 lead going into the third period …

… the American team, however, rallied to tie the game at 3-3 …

… and then, with ten minutes to play, team captain Mike Eruzione scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.

The Miracle on Mike Eruzione Game Winning GoalOf course, that left the Russians lots of time … but a stubborn U.S. defense and the incomparable goal-tending of Jim Craig …

The Miracle on Goalie Jim Craig … turned away the Russians time and again … until there were just 11 seconds to play in the game …

… at which point Al Michaels …

Do You Believe in Miracles Al Michaels portrait… counted down the remaining time …

Do You Believe in Miracles Al Michaels… to the American victory.

The Miracle on Ice celebration with Herb BrooksThe Miracle on Ice celebrationOBIT BROOKSThe Miracle on Ice groupTwo days later, the Americans clinched the gold medal by defeating Finland 4-2.

Sports Illustrated celebrated the win over Russia with one of its most unusual ever covers …

The Miracle on Ice Sports Illustrated cover… it was headline news around the country …

The Miracle on Ice New York Daily News front page… became the stuff of books & a movie …

Do You Believe in Miracles book cover… and a legend which endures to this day.

——————–

Team Captain Mike EruzioneThe Miracle on Mike Eruzione Team CaptainGoalie Jim CraigThe Miracle on Goalie Jim Craig autographThe Gold Medal Winning 1980 U. S. Olympic Hockey TeamThe Miracle on Ice team photo______________________________________

Thee Dot … 102

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