It's hard to imagine that a statue in Lake Placid honoring the Miracle on Ice has not been built all these years considering what a monumental achievement it was.

But it hasn't.

The time for one now, 41 years later, is perfect.

And thanks to an effort by led by Northway Brewing, Miracle On Ice LLC and Monument to a Miracle, and supported by the Olympic Regional Development Authority, a statue is in the works.

The statue, which will cost between $2.5 million and $3 million, and will sit outside the Olympic Center, will honor the amazing accomplishment of the 1980 Winter Olympic U.S. men's hockey team, and their astonishing upset of the Soviet Union and eventual gold medal victory.

The win was historic on so many fronts.

It was achieved by a team of mostly college-age players with way less experience and success than the vaunted Soviets had seen.

The Soviets were considered by many in the hockey world as the greatest team in the land. They had easily dispatched a group of NHL all-stars the year before the Olympics, and handily defeated the U.S. a week before the tournament by a score of 10 to 3 in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The atmosphere was perfect on that wonderful Friday 41 years ago this week in Lake Placid. A partisan crowd was wildly enthusiastic as the Americans had not lost in the round-robin of the tournament and were hot.

The chants of USA! USA! filled the arena that now bears the name of Herb Brooks, coach of the American team.

Some improbable things happened in that game that helped the Americans. Two, what can be described as "soft" goals, were scored by the U.S. in the first period prompting Soviet Coach Viktor Tikhonov to pull goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, considered the best goalie in the world at the time.

The U.S., as it did throughout the tournament, came from behind in the third period to win 4 to 3 with Captain Mike Eruzione scoring the game-winning goal with exactly 10 minutes remaining in the game.

From there, the U.S, frantically held on behind the great play of goalie Jim Craig.

In the end, the bedlam was punctuated by announcer Al Michael's legendary call of, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

The win boosted our nation's spirits immensely at a time when we needed it most.

The winter of 1979-80 was a dark time for the nation as gas prices soared, the Iranian Hostage crisis was playing out, and the Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan, setting nerves on edge at the height of the Cold War.

Then-President Jimmy Carter gave his famous "crisis in confidence" speech just before the games lamenting on the nation's doldrums.

The win over the Russians sparked an uplifting that everyone, not just hockey and sports fans, felt.

Things in our world seemed to get better.

We are now living in times similar to the dark days before the Miracle. Our nation is divided politically, we are still reeling from an insurrection at the Capital last month, and we continue to fight a deadly pandemic that has taken more than half a million lives.

We need to pull together to get out of this mess.

Will a statue dedicated to a hockey team's accomplishment 41 years ago be the tonic that save us? Probably not.

But it will serve as a reminder of what can be accomplished, and that there can indeed be better days ahead.


Trending Video

Recommended for you