Sunday, February 21, 2010

30 years after "The Miracle on Ice"

In the long list of improbable and historic upsets in sports, at or near the top has to be the U.S.A. hockey team's gold-medal performance in the 1980 Olympics.

A bunch of amateurs -- college kids with an average age of 22 -- defeated the vaunted and veteran Soviets, considered the best team anywhere (amateur or professional) with a third-period rally in the semifinals. That game was played in Lake Placid, N.Y., 30 years ago tomorrow (Feb. 22, 1980).

Often forgotten is that the Americans had a rally again in the third period to beat Finland for the gold medal.

The victory, which occurred while the Cold War was still hot, was a huge source of patriotic pride. The chant "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" got its genesis there.

Hard to believe it's been 30 years.

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