Twenty-eight years ago this week, a group of rag-tag college kids defeated the Soviet machine in the 1980 US Olympic Hockey semi-finals. Two days later, they went on to defeat Finland in the Gold medal game.
At the time, professionals were not officially allowed to participate in the Olympic games, but this Soviet team had spent years training and competing together, as did many teams from the Soviet bloc. The American kids were basically an all-star team of Northeastern college hockey teams that came together just months before the 1980 Olympics began.
The win provided an uplift for Americans during the cold war. It was a terrible defeat for the professional Soviet team and was yet another example that we Americans can do anything, if we dedicate ourselves to it.
The popular chant "U - S - A, U - S - A" was coined and is now heard where ever the US national teams compete.
That year, Ronald Reagan campaigned that it was "morning in America" and that our greatest days were yet to come. He went on to win the Presidential election that November. 1980 was a great year for this blogger.
Enjoy the video below.
(Your blogger was 13 years old and was already a hockey fan, thanks to the new cable network, ESPN. In those early days, the fledging cable network had little else to show, so she would watch hockey games from the Northeast, the Midwest, and Canada while babysitting, after the kids went to bed.
Your blogger is sidelined from playing ice hockey or any sport until her health (back) recovers. She loved playing hockey and wished she'd been able to do it as a youngster, as todays girls are able to. She is looking forward to having her son participate when he is of age.