Miracle on Ice Essay

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Miracle On Ice: The Legacy America's 1980 Olympic hockey team looms large in the sporting imagination. History has framed the Miracle On Ice as one of those rare sporting achievements that transcend sport. The two hockey games that comprise the “miracle” – the 4-3 win over the mighty Soviets and the 4-2 gold medal clincher against Finland – are credited with lifting Americans from a decade of gloom and despair, reviving patriotism and foreshadowing a national renewal. In 1980, the United States was emerging from a troubled decade. The 1970s had been marked by an ugly end to the Vietnam War, the demoralizing Watergate spectacle, rampant inflation, unemployment and an energy crisis. The Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan, rejuvenating…show more content…
The fact that the 1990s were the greatest period of growth for American hockey suggests that the 1980 Olympics did not inspire thousands of kids to strap on the blades right away. But the event certainly took its place in American sports mythology, giving young hockey players a heritage to celebrate and icons to look up to. That kind of legacy is the lifeblood of any sport. "I was 8-years-old when the U. S. won gold at the 1980 Olympics,” NHL veteran Steve Konowalchuk told ESPN. “I remember watching the games and celebrating each victory. I worked very hard on my game as a result, hoping to one day be a part of something as special as winning an Olympic gold medal." “There was a prejudicial feeling toward American players that the 1980 Winter Olympics helped to turn around,” adds ESPN analyst Bill Clement, a Canadian who was playing in the NHL in 1980. “Before then, the criticism of American players was that they weren't tough enough, couldn't score when they had to, and couldn't win big games for you or with you. That mentality began to change after 1980.” Memories are inexact, and legend can obscure fact. People tend to exaggerate the underdog factor, thinking of the 1980 Olympic team as a rag-tag bunch, not a fast and disciplined group that produced several excellent NHL players. They forget that after the amazing upset of the Soviet Union, Team USA had to beat Finland to win gold. Even some sports reporters have written erroneous articles, combining
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