February 21, 2015

1980 Miracle On Ice Team Reunites in Lake Placid

For the first time since they upset the mighty Soviets and won Olympic hockey gold in 1980, Team USA's Miracle on Ice team will reunite in Lake Placid.

However, Mark Johnson explains it is somewhat of a bitter-sweet affair:

The trip to upstate New York is one Johnson simply can’t afford to miss. For one thing, it will be the first time that all the surviving members of Team USA will be in Lake Placid at the same time since the 1980 Games. For another, it will be an opportunity to honor the memory of a lifelong friend.

The joy Johnson will get in seeing the 18 other players will be tempered by the fact Bob Suter won’t be there.

Like Johnson, Suter grew up in Madison, starred at UW and put down deep roots in his hometown.

Suter died of a heart attack on Sept. 9 at the age of 57. His Olympic legacy will be acknowledged in Lake Placid when his No. 20 sweater is raised to the rafters at what is now Herb Brooks Rink.

“Without Bobby it will never happen again where we get everybody back together,” Johnson said this week. “So there will be mixed emotions as the evening starts to unfold.”

Here's the full story. And of course, legendary coach Herb Brooks will also not be there. He died in an automobile accident back in 2003.

Wow. Those college kids upsetting the greatest hockey team in the world was 35 years ago already? It seems like just yesterday!

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times has an excellent article remembering what many consider to be the greatest sporting event in American history. Her article is called 1980 Miracle On Ice Team Reunion Gets Gray But Never Old:

We picture the members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team as they were captured in photographs and portrayed in the movie "Miracle," exuberant college kids who stunned the powerful Soviets before winning the gold medal at Lake Placid, N.Y.

Although the moment was frozen, time has marched on. Team captain Mike Eruzione, who scored the winner against the Soviets, is 60 and the grandfather of two, soon to be three. Many of his teammates are grandfathers.

"God, we're old," Eruzione said with a laugh during a phone conversation. "What's even funnier is the letters I get today. They almost always start out, 'Although I wasn't born in 1980...'"

Here's her full story.

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