Hockey! The 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team Essay

Hockey! The 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team Essay

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To the average individual, the word “miracle” has many meanings. However, to the avid hockey fan, the word “Miracle” is vernacular that will be forever engrained in their hearts and history books. While the term itself is broad, miracles turn doubters into believers. This was exactly the case during the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey team shocked the world. In 1980, the U.S. men’s hockey team, consisting of college players and hopeful pros, won Olympic gold. No other Olympic performance was so uniting and inspiring to our nation. Upon scoring the game-winner and clinching the gold medal, Eruzione's goal triggered a spontaneous national celebration of amazing proportions. Overcome with joy, our nation celebrated with a display of patriotism unparalleled to any sporting event before. Playing against the vaunted U.S.S.R. team, the collection of young Americans defied all odds to defeat a juggernaut. Furthermore, it turned a nation that was on it’s heels into one that was on the attack-the U.S. had been taking flak during the Cold War but quickly became heroes after defeating the Soviets. Coupled with scandals such as Watergate, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the Cold War; the United States needed something to brighten their spirits. This team spurred much needed national pride to our country and restored our faith even during the darkest of times. The self-esteem boost our nation experienced following their win was unprecedented and its affect cannot be understated.
The movie, “Miracle,” directed by Gavin O’Connor, was released in 2003. It chronicled the United States Olympic hockey team during the 1980’s Olympics in Lake Placid, New York by following the lives of college hockey players who were relatively unknown. The player...


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...he individual, it is more concerned with the collective. Moreover, our nation still values maximizing human potential, whether it be on the rink or in everyday life. Ultimately, Miracle documented the values and the struggle of the team and the country was experiencing during that time. A duality was present as the team and our country itself was experiencing an identity crisis. In many ways, the 1980 U.S. Men’s hockey team reflected the struggle of America through the lens of the Cold War. Significant divides existed in the team and in our society that threatened the prosperity of our nation. That same struggle exists today. In present day, sports has the ability to transcend divides. In the midst of ongoing wars, Miracle illustrated how sports raised American moral and reminded us of what our nation can be. Despite tough times, American resiliency will prevail.

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