Vancouver Olympics

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Associated Press
The U.S. hockey team celebrates its 4-3 victory against the Soviets, Feb. 22, 1980.

No. 1: USA Upsets USSR in “Miracle on Ice”

The Soviet hockey team entered the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics as the most powerful national team in the world, having won four straight gold medals. Few believed that the American team, made up mostly of college players, had any chance of beating the Soviets when they faced off in the medal round.

But the goaltending of Jim Craig and a third period goal by captain Mike Eruzione propelled the Americans to a shocking 4-3 win punctuated by announcer Al Michaels exclaiming, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

The “Miracle on Ice” is considered one of the greatest sporting events in U.S. history. “No other Olympic performance has touched America the way that hockey team did,” writes Kevin Allen. “People wept, strangers hugged each other, and groups around the country broke into stirring renditions of ‘God Bless America’ and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”

Watch highlights of the USA’s victory over the USSR.

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