For many, the XIII Winter Olympic Games will stand out as one of the greatest defining moments in US sports history.
The 1980 games marked the second time the Winter Olympics were held in the small village of Lake Placid, located in upstate New York. The Adirondacks were taken over by 1072 athletes from 37 nations, and the games kicked off on February 13th.
In front of the home crowd, the US Olympians took home a total of 12 medals, including Eric Heiden's unprecedented five gold medals, a new record for individual gold won at a single Olympic game.
Although impressive, it wasn't Heiden's medals that shocked the athletic world. The US win over the long-dominant and heavily-favored Soviets in the the event that became known as "The Miracle on Ice " would go down as the greatest sports moment of the century.
What was it about this event that made is so miraculous? To begin with, the US team entered the games seeded seventh out of twelve teams which qualified for the games. After a surprising start with a 2-2 tie against Sweden followed by a 7-3 victory against a very powerful Czechoslovakia team, the American team finished 4 and 0 with 1 draw to advance them to the medal round.
Composed of collegiate and amateur athletes, the US team was up against the well-developed and legendary players of the Soviets who had won the gold in the past four Olympics. On top of their Olympic triumphs, the Soviets beat the US team 10-3 in a exhibition match earlier that month.
Tied 2-2 after the first period, the Soviets brought in the only goal for the second period. Mark Johnson's goal in the third brought the US back. With ten minutes left to the game, Mike Eruzione scored the famous fourth and winning goal and with Jim Craig's solid play at the net the US team defeated the Soviets 4-3.
If you listen closely, you may still be able to hear the chants; "U.S.A. ... U.S.A!!"