The United States’ defeat of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic hockey game has long been regarded as one of the greatest moments in sports history. Now, it will be eternalized to commemorate the historic upset.
The game between the U.S. and the Soviet Union will be forever immortalized through its own monument. The statue, dubbed “Miracle on Ice,” will be erected in Lake Placid, N.Y.
On Feb. 22, 1980, led by coach Herb Brooks, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviet Union, 4-3. At the time, many considered the Soviet Union to be the best hockey team in the world. Brooks gave an inspirational speech before they skated onto the ice and stunning the world, telling the team: “the moment is yours.”
With 10 minutes left on the clock, team captain Mike Eruzione pushed the team to victory when he landed a 20-foot wrist shot. “I still can’t believe this has happened,” Eruzione said following the win.
Proposed Statue to Honor ‘Miracle On Ice’ Hockey Players During 1980 Olympic Game
More than four decades after the historic game and three years of raising money, the city will eternalize the players with a statue of the U.S. hockey team standing in celebration on the medal stand.
The Friends of the 1980 Miracle Hockey Team LLC and Northway Brewing supported the project. “We felt that this incredible sports moment and the ultimate example of teamwork exemplified by the group richly deserved its own monument,” said Katie Million, who, along with Jeff Potter, has led the project.
According to Million, the organization is accepting donations, which will go toward the statute. The organization has also recruited sculptor Robert Eccleston to design the monument.
“Living in Lake Placid for almost 20 years, you feel the impact of the 1980 miracle hockey team every day,” Million said. “Walking through the doors of the Herb Brooks Arena in the Olympic Center still brings chills.
“We hope to keep the team’s legacy alive and provide an opportunity for future generations of Americans to learn about the 1980 Miracle Hockey Team and the values that led to their gold medal victory,” she said. Today, fans can tour the rafters where they can watch a video of the final moments of the historic game.
When 8,500 attendees stood in awe, fans and commentators thought the American players would be unable to come out on top over the Russians. But they did, as fans shouted “USA, USA, USA.” “Do you believe in miracles?” yelled announcer Al Michaels in the final moments.
Following the win, the U.S. took the gold medal on Feb. 24, 1980, with a 4-2 victory over Finland.