By Jack Healey
It’s hard to believe that the “Miracle On Ice” victory over the Soviet Union by the US Olympic hockey team was 40 years ago tomorrow. Those of us old enough to remember will never forget the 4-3 victory over the Russians in what was the semi-final game.
I followed the US hockey team closely during those Olympics,but I like most fans didn’t think the USA had a chance against the Soviets. For most of the country the game wasn’t even shown live on that Friday night. I left where I worked at the radio station on that Friday knowing by the wire reports that the game was fairly close, but I didn’t think much about it as I went to the Rutland Restaurant for dinner as I did pretty much every night in those days. The TV was on to the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and everybody was in shock as Walter announced the final score. We all couldn’t believe it. The game was on taped delay and I watch the whole game later knowing the final score,but I still couldn’t believe it.
I had cousins that had a farmhouse near Lake Placid and they purchased tickets to various Olympic events way in advance. Three of the tickets were for the Olympic mens hockey Final on Sunday February 22nd,1980 at 11AM. I was lucky enough to be one of those who got to go to the game along with my uncle and a cousin. That of course was the game against Finland for the gold medal when the US sealed the deal winning 4-2. The US was trailing 2-1 going into the 3rd period and of course came back to win 4-2.
I have often said that people forget that the US had another game after the game against the Russians and if they didn’t win the game against Finland the game against Russia would’ve been just a footnote in history. I felt that way in 2004 too if the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series after beating the Yankees.
They are celebrating the 40th anniversary all weekend long in Lake Placid. Oh by the way other good stuff happened like Eric Heiden winning five individual gold medals in speed skating.
Sports Illustrated named the victory over the Russians the best sports moment of the 20th century.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
By Jack Healey