Like most Americans my age, I will forever remember the 1980 Miracle on Ice. It was a transformative experience for me. Every time I watch a clip of the end, it gives me goosebumps, even though it was thirty five years ago.
“Do you believe in miracles?!” Yes, Al Michaels. I certainly do.
Part of the reason it was so meaningful is because of the Cold War, and how good the Soviet hockey team was. We were David, and they were Goliath: big, bad, and very scary. That’s how I always saw them. But not anymore.
My perspective changed when I watched an ESPN documentary called “Of Miracles and Men.” It tells the story of the Miracle on Ice from the Soviet perspective. I learned about the players, who seemed like good guys and weretremendous athletes. I saw the devastating impact of this loss had on these men, and the shame they brought to their country. Their failure was as great as our triumph, but they were not the villains we think. They were just men, doing their best to win for themselves and their country. It is a tragedy that this one failure overshadowed all of their great achievements. And yet, if not for their failure, we would not have our miracle.
Check out “Of Miracles and Men,” and let me know what you think.