The Biz of Pacelinebiz

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Winter Olympics – 30 years ago today

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We are past the half way point in the Winter Olympics now.  I hope you are all enjoying your favorite events.  I really don’t have a favorite but I enjoy the bobsled, luge, the skiing events – downhill, cross country as well as the ski jumping.  I also enjoy the various speed skating events but I’m not a fan of the figure skating or ice dancing competitions.

 I also occasionally watch the hockey but it seems as though I get more interested the more frequently I watch.  I am not a fan of the NHL but will take a look at the outdoor game they televise annually on New Year’s Day.  I think I do that mostly due to the novelty of seeing a game played outdoors at a historic venue such as Wrigley Field or Fenway Park. 

 The men’s gold medal game will be played on February 28th – the last day of the Olympics.  I will probably watch some of it no matter who is playing.  My first real interest in Olympic hockey was etched in stone 30 years ago today – February 22, 1980.  That was the “Miracle on Ice” game in which the USA team beat the Soviets 4-3 to advance to the Gold medal round against Finland.  I still get chills when I think about what that victory meant at that time in history.  It was the rag tag bunch of amateurs and college kids versus the best professionals that the Soviet could field.  This Soviet team routinely trounced NHL all star teams of that era.  It is no wonder that the story was made into a TV movie in 1981 and a Feature Film in 2004.  The only thing that surprises me is that it took that long to hit the silver screen.  If you have not seen it I would recommend it – perhaps watch it this week.

 Here are some interesting facts to note about that game.  It was not televised live in the afternoon (except on Canadian TV) but on tape delay in primetime.  It was not the gold medal game.  As I stated above they had to beat Finland to get the gold. It is the most watched hockey game in USA television history.  In 2008, the International Ice Hockey Federation picked the “Miracle on Ice” as the number-one international hockey story of the century.  Sports Illustrated voted it as the greatest sports moment of the 20th century.  The picture of the American team celebrating the win on the Sports Illustrated cover the following week is the only cover in its history without a caption or headline.  The team was named the Associated Presses athlete of the year.

 Enjoy the rest of your viewing – even if it is figure skating…


Written by pacelinebiz

February 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

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