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Beating the Odds

Miracle Anniversary

Last night’s U.S. men’s Olympic hockey victory over Team Canada came nearly 30 years to the day after the “Miracle on Ice,” in which the Americans stunned the Soviet Union.
If anything, the victory over Canada underlines exactly how unbelievable the “Miracle on Ice” was. At least this year’s American team is made up of National Hockey League standouts.
Back in 1980, the American squad consisted of college kids and minor-leaguers who seemed unsuited to challenge a team as powerful as the Soviet Union was.
But American Coach Herb Brooks somehow put it all together. He unified the team, made sure the players were superbly conditioned, and made them believe, even after they lost a pre-tournament game to the Soviets by the score of 10-3.
And what a motivator. “Great moments are born from great opportunities,” he told the players just before they took the ice against the Soviets.
Unlike the 1980 squad, this year’s American team was playing on the road. there was no rabid hometown crowd in a tiny rink in Lake Placid.
Today, exactly 30 years after that huge game in that tiny rink, people will undoubtedly make comparisons. For sure, this year’s team skates with a lot of the unity, passion and energy that the 1980 Olympians showed. And it has already scored an upset.
But a miracle? There can only be one of those, and it happened 30 years ago today.


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