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Miracle on Ice: USA beats Soviet Union in 1980 Olympics

Against the political backdrop of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent sanctions by the U.S. along with President Jimmy Carter's threat to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union, 4-3, in the semifinal round of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980.

The improbability of an American victory against the mighty Soviet team, combined with broadcaster Al Michaels' famous "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" call in the final seconds, led to this game being deemed the "Miracle on Ice."

A view of the ice hockey rink in
Photo Credit: AP

A view of the ice hockey rink in Lake Placid where the U.S. team won a 4-3 upset victory of the Soviet team during the Winter Olympics on Feb. 22, 1980.

USA’s Eric Strobel checks Soviet player Juri Lebedeev
Photo Credit: AP

USA’s Eric Strobel checks Soviet player Juri Lebedeev in a fight for the puck during first period of their semifinal hockey game at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. At right is Soviet forward Sergei Makarov, in front is Michael Ramsey.

USA’s Jim Craig deflects a shot by Soviet
Photo Credit: AP

USA’s Jim Craig deflects a shot by Soviet player Helmut Balderis in the first period of the semifinal game against the U.S.S.R. at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980.

USA goalie Jim Craig stops a Soviet shot
Photo Credit: AP

USA goalie Jim Craig stops a Soviet shot in first period of the semifinal game at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. U.S. defenseman William Schneider is next to the net. U.S. forward David Christian (23) is hit by Soviet forward Victor Zhluktov.

USA’s Robert McClanahan crashes into Aleksandre Golikov of
Photo Credit: AP

USA’s Robert McClanahan crashes into Aleksandre Golikov of the Soviet Union during the first period at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, on Feb. 22, 1980.

USA's Steven Christoff, left, attacks the Soviet goal
Photo Credit: AP

USA's Steven Christoff, left, attacks the Soviet goal defended by Vladislav Tretjak during the first period in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Feb. 22, 1980. The U.S. upset the Russian team, 4-3. Two days later, the Americans came from behind with three goals in the third period against Finland to clinch the gold medal.

Mark Johnson prepares to shoot the puck into
Photo Credit: AP

Mark Johnson prepares to shoot the puck into the net for the second U.S. goal in the first period of a semifinal hockey game as the Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretjak defends at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. The U.S. won 4-3.

Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak hits the ice after
Photo Credit: AP

Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak hits the ice after giving up a goal to USA’s Mark Johnson in the final seconds of the first period in the semifinal round of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. Team USA defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union, 4-3, in a game later deemed the “Miracle on Ice.”

Two U.S. hockey players trap a Soviet player
Photo Credit: AP

Two U.S. hockey players trap a Soviet player on the ice during the semifinals of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980.

U.S. goalie Jim Craig reaches for the puck
Photo Credit: AP

U.S. goalie Jim Craig reaches for the puck during a Soviet attack during the 1980 Winter Olympics on Feb. 22, 1980 photo in Lake Placid. U.S players are, from left: Craig, Ken Morrow and Dave Silk.

Jubilant spectators support the U.S. hockey team on
Photo Credit: AP

Jubilant spectators support the U.S. hockey team on Feb. 22, 1980 in Lake Placid as the Americans beat the Soviets in the Winter Olympics, 4-3.

Soviet forward Vladimir Petrov is trapped as the
Photo Credit: AP

Soviet forward Vladimir Petrov is trapped as the stick of USA’s William Baker gets threaded between the shoe and blade of his skate during the second period at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980.

The puck goes past Soviet goalie Vladimir Myshkin
Photo Credit: AP

The puck goes past Soviet goalie Vladimir Myshkin on a shot by Mike Eruzione, a goal scored with 10 minutes left that broke a 3-3 tie as Team USA went on to beat the Soviet Union, 4-3, in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980.

Mike Eruzione, left, is hugged by teammates John
Photo Credit: AP

Mike Eruzione, left, is hugged by teammates John O'Callahan, David Silk, and goalie James Craig after scoring the go-ahead goal that beat the Soviet Union in the “Miracle on Ice” at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid on Feb. 22, 1980.

U.S. hockey team members watch the final minutes
Photo Credit: AP

U.S. hockey team members watch the final minutes of the game as their 4-3 lead holds up to beat the Soviet Union in the Winter Olympic semifinals in Lake Placid on Feb. 22, 1980.

USA coach Herb Brooks, center, looks on from
Photo Credit: AP

USA coach Herb Brooks, center, looks on from the bench during the closing minutes of the semifinal game against the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. The U.S. won, 4-3.

The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team members celebrate
Photo Credit: AP

The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team members celebrate after their upset victory over the heavily favored Soviet team by a score of 4-3 in the Winter Olympics on Feb. 22, 1980, in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The U.S. hockey team pounces on goalie Jim
Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. hockey team pounces on goalie Jim Craig after a 4-3 upset victory against the Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics as a flag waves from the partisan crowd in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980.

Team USA members congratulate each other on the
Photo Credit: AP

Team USA members congratulate each other on the ice during the 1980 Winter Olympics after they upset the favored USSR team, 4-3, in Lake Placid on Feb. 22, 1980.

Coach Herb Brooks, receives a phone call from

Coach Herb Brooks, receives a phone call from President Jimmy Carter in Lake Placid, New York, after the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet team, 4-3, in the semifinals at the Winter Olympics on Feb. 22, 1980.

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