The Cold War And The Soviet Union Hockey

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“Do you believe in miracles?” American Sportscaster, Al Michaels, asked America as the last seconds ticked away in the 1980 Soviet-American Olympic hockey game. The Soviet Union hockey team had dominated the hockey world consistently for the previous decade. This era of Soviet hockey superiority came to an end as the underdog American team routed the Soviets 4-3, moving to the next round of competition with a chance to win the gold medal in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The game symbolized confrontation between the United States of America (USA) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) after decades locked in a proxy war. The Cold War, most notably defined by proliferating nuclear arms that shaped a new generation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Cold War America faced many challenges on the home front. Oil embargoes placed on America during the 1970’s had profound impacts limiting civilians to three gallons of gas a week, forcing people to carpool, and creating a black market of oil. Conflicts in the Middle East increased economic pressure as the American government supported Israel and Iraq in the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 and the Iran-Iraq War in 1980-1988. Stagflation, defined as a combination of high inflation and unemployment leading to slow economic growth, became a significant issue in the American economy. A supply shock in oil caused by the aforementioned embargoes, led to a steep incline in oil prices (see Appendix A).
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