The 1980 Miracle on Ice Essay

The 1980 Miracle on Ice Essay

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The most memorable moment in hockey history came thirty-four years ago with the 1980 Miracle on Ice. The Americans defeating the dominant Soviet team at the Olympics was not only an important triumph for USA Hockey, but for the entire nation. Contrary to popular belief, the underdog win was not only the result of a miracle; it was also the result of a hard-working team led by Coach Herb Brooks. With increasingly negative views on the position of the United States in the Cold War, the Miracle on Ice and the gold medal win lifted the spirits of the nation and brought hockey into the American spotlight.
In 1980, it seemed like the United States was not as dominant in the world as it had been before. The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union began after World War II. The two nations had joined forces as members of the Allies, but tensions arose after the war. The Americans were very worried about the spread of Soviet communism, and tried to prevent it with a policy of containment, where the United States would protect countries from outside oppression. The Cold War also expanded to include the race between the Soviets and Americans to create atomic weapons. Furthermore, there was a race between the two countries to put the first man in space, which was accomplished by the United States in 1961 (“Cold War History”). The Cold War was a standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union to try to prove their dominance in the world. Each country wanted to have more power and diminish the power of the other. At home, Americans were paranoid with the thought of Soviet spies and communists hiding amongst them, dubbed the “Red Scare.” President Richard Nixon and the Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev signed the Strategic A...


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...ital it is to work together as a team in order to be successful. Also, success is something that should not be taken for granted, as captain Mike Eruzione said: “I think Americans have to realize its not easy to win that, and when you do, it’s something that’s unique and special” (qtd. in Thompson).
To the U.S. team, the win over the Soviets was just another hockey game, even though it was special to them. To the nation, it meant much more. The game was proof that America could still hold its own in the world, and could compete with the most powerful countries. Having been caught in the Cold War for decades, defeating the Soviets on the ice provided hope that they could be defeated elsewhere as well. Hockey grew in the United States thanks to the popularity of the Miracle on Ice. The game was an opportunity for Americans to feel pride for their country again.







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