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USA USSR 1980 Olympic Hockey It was one of the greatest moments in American sports history--but very few Americans saw it when it actually happened. The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was made up of college players. (North American professionals were ineligible until 1998.) The Soviet Union's state-sponsored "amateurs" had dominated Olympic hockey, winning gold medals in 1956, 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976. In an exhibition game prior to the 1980 Olympics, the USSR manhandled the awe-struck Americans 10-3 at Madison Square Garden. However, in the medal round of the Lake Placid Olympics, the Americans pulled off an enormous upset, beating the mighty Soviets 4-3. Only those Americans who lived close enough to the Canadian border to pick up CTV's feed actually saw the game live. ABC only showed a tape-delayed broadcast later that evening. (ABC did not want to deprive soap opera fans from seeing General Hospital that day!) Watch the last 90 seconds of the game and listen as a young Al Michaels makes his famous call: 'Do you believe in miracles? Yes!' Two days later the Americans defeated Finland for the gold medal.
Tags: 1980  Olympic  hockey 
Added: 15th December 2007
Views: 3012
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Posted By: Lava1964
1960 Olympic Hockey USA USSR Here's some rare sports footage from the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. It's the deciding goal of the USA's 3-2 victory over the Soviet Union. The game was played in an outdoor rink. Notice the players didn't wear helmets and the goalies didn't wear masks.
Tags: 1960  Olympic  Hockey 
Added: 9th March 2008
Views: 1588
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Posted By: Lava1964
Phil Esposito Rebukes Canadian Hockey Fans This is a Canadian classic: In a famous postgame interview from the 1972 Canada-USSR hockey series, Phil Esposito lashes out against Canadian fans and media who had been dumping on Canada's national team. Espo led the team to a dramatic comeback victory in the Soviet Union.
Tags: Phil  Esposito  interview 
Added: 7th June 2008
Views: 1154
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Posted By: Lava1964
USSR Wins 1956 Olympic Hockey Until the 1950s, Canada could send virtually any amateur team to Europe and win the annual International Ice Hockey Federation world championship tourney. (For example, Canada beat Denmark 49-0 in one game at the 1949 event using a team from Sault Ste. Marie, ON!) The Soviet Union took an interest in Olympic sports in the early 1950s. They surprisingly beat Canada 7-2 at the 1954 world tourney in their debut. In 1955 Canada sent the national amateur champs from Penticton, BC and won the championship by beating the USSR 5-0. With the national senior amateur championship team from Kitchener, ON representing Canada at the 1956 Olympics at Cortina, Italy, Canada was supposed to win another Olympic championship. Surprisingly they finished third after losing to both the USA and USSR. This clip shows the Soviets' 4-0 win over the USA and their 2-0 win over Canada. Canada's goalie was Denis Brodeur--the father of NHL great Martin Brodeur. Men were men back then: Few wore helmets and goalies didn't wear masks.
Tags: 1956  Winter  Olympic  hockey  Cortina 
Added: 14th February 2014
Views: 1361
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Posted By: Lava1964
Viktor Tikhonov - USSR Hockey Coach One of the most familiar faces of Soviet Union hockey was the dour puss of coach Viktor Tikhonov who ran the Central Red Army club team and the Soviet National team with an iron fist and almost unchecked success for 20 years. Tikhonov was born on June 4, 1930. As a player, Tikhonov was a defenceman with the Soviet Air Force and Dynamo Moscow clubs, but he wasn't well known internationally until he became the head coach of both the Central Red Army team and the Soviet Union's national team in 1977. At one point Red Army won 13 consecutive Soviet Elite League titles--which isn't all that surprising considering Tikhonov had the authority of a Red Army general and could immediately draft any player into the armed forces if he showed promise. The USSR won eight IIHF world titles under Tikhonov plus Olympic gold medals in 1984, 1988 and 1992. The USSR's national team also won the 1979 Challenge Cup and 1981 Canada Cup. Tikhonov had power over his players' lives and used it to control every aspect of his team. They routinely trained together for 50 weeks per year while living in army barracks. Canadian hockey great Phil Esposito said the so-called Soviet "amateurs" were more professional than NHL players. Humorless and ruthless, Tikhonov was known for his dictatorial coaching style. He exercised control over his players' lives. His expected absolute obedience--or else. His players quietly called him "the last Stalinist." With tongue-in-cheek humor, western media often referred to Tikhonov as "Chuckles." Tikhonov constantly feared his players would defect if they ever got the slightest chance. Anyone he merely suspected of defecting would be left off teams planning to travel outside the Iron Curtain. In 1991, for instance, he cut Pavel Bure, Valeri Zelepukin, Evgeny Davydov, and Vladimir Konstantinov just before the 1991 Canada Cup. All of them had been drafted by NHL teams, and Tikhonov suspected they were flight risks. Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tikhonov stayed on as the national team coach of Russia for a few more years, but the newer players rebelled against his harsh authoritarian ways. Tikhonov mellowed slighty before going into retirement in 1996. After his retirement, Tikhonov lobbied the Russian government for more attention and better financing for the national team. His grandson plays on the current Russian national squad. Tikhonov died in November 2014.
Tags: hockey  coach  USSR  Viktor  Tikhonov 
Added: 19th February 2014
Views: 785
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Posted By: Lava1964
Boston Bruins - 1972 Stanley Cup Champs I posted this on the CBC News website in Canada following the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup championship on June 15, 2011. It got such a wonderful response that I thought I'd share it here too: It had been 14,279 days since captain Johnny Bucyk hoisted the Boston Bruins' last Stanley Cup on May 11, 1972. To put things in perspective... Richard Nixon was in the White House. America still had combat troops in Vietnam. If you bought a quarter's worth of candy, you could get sick eating it all. Pitchers still batted in the American League. There was no such thing as rap music or punk rock. Nobody considered the possibility of terrorist attacks at the Olympics. The NHL had 14 teams. Few players wore helmets. Some goalies didn't wear masks. Nobody seriously thought hockey players from the USSR were good. There were hardly any McDonald's Restaurants in Canada. There were very few Tim Hortons either. Archie Bunker was in his heyday. Television sets had rabbit ears. Nobody thought the world was in peril from global warming or climate change or whatever they're calling it this week. Lotteries were illegal in Canada. Arthur Godfrey Time had still been on the radio two weeks earlier. Calculators could perform four functions and cost $179. Most people had rotary telephones. Forget about DVD players--VCRs didn't exist. The idea of bottled water would have been laughable. Computers were enormous things that occupied entire rooms and did simple calculations using punch cards. Hardware meant hammers and wrenches. Software didn't mean anything. People still sent telegrams. Life Magazine was still around. Canada still had the death penalty. O.J. Simpson was a hero. The Lord's Prayer was recited in public schools. Nobody thought it was wrong. A new car cost $2500. Hockey cards were a dime a pack--and they came with pink bubble gum covered in powdered sugar. Bobby Orr was the greatest player in the NHL. (Thirty-nine years later he's still the greatest of all time.).
Tags: hockey  Boston  Bruins  1972  Stanley  Cup 
Added: 16th June 2011
Views: 3072
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Posted By: Lava1964
1956 USSR-Hungary Water Polo Match At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, a water polo match between Hungary and the USSR turned into a blood bath--literally. The match, on December 6, was set against the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and saw Hungary defeat the USSR 4–0. The lasting image of the match was Hungarian star Ervin Zádor emerging from the pool with a large, bloody gash under his eye. He had been punched by Soviet player Valentin Prokopov. Tensions were already high between the Hungarian and Soviet water polo teams, as the Soviets had taken advantage of their political control of Hungary to study and copy the training methods and tactics of the 1952 Olympic champion Hungarians. On October 23, 1956, a demonstration by university students escalated into an uprising against the Soviet puppet government in Budapest. For a few days it appeared Hungary might free itself from the USSR's grasp. On November 1, however, Soviet tanks began rolling into Hungary. From November 4 to November 10 forces began suppressing the uprising with air strikes, artillery bombardments, and tank/infantry actions. The Hungarian water polo team was in a mountain training camp above Budapest. They were able to hear the gunfire and see smoke rising. With the Summer Olympics in Melbourne a month away, they were moved to Czechoslovakia to avoid being caught in the revolution. The players only learned the full extent of the uprising and the subsequent crackdown after arriving in Australia. By the start of the Olympics, the uprising had been suppressed. Many players saw the Olympics as a way to salvage national pride. "We felt we were playing not just for ourselves but for our whole country" said Zádor after the match. The "Blood In The Water" match was played in front of a partisan crowd bolstered with expatriate Hungarians as well as Australians and Americans who detested their Cold War Soviet rivals. Prior to the match, the Hungarians had evolved a strategy to taunt the Russians, whose language they had been forced to study in school. In the words of Zádor: "We had decided to try and make the Russians angry to distract them." From the opening whistle, kicks and punches were freely exchanged. At one point the Hungarian captain, Dezső Gyarmati, punched a Russian; it was caught on film. Meanwhile, Zádor scored two goals for the Hungarians, much to the delight of the crowd. With Hungary leading 4–0 in the final minutes, Zádor was marking Valentin Prokopov with whom he'd had verbal exchanges. Prokopov struck him, causing a gash to open. The blood comining with the water in the pool made it look like Zádor was bleeding to death. As he left the pool, his bleeding incited the crowd into a frenzy. Angry spectators jumped onto the concourse beside the water, shook their fists, shouted abuse, and spat at the Soviets. To avoid a riot, police entered the arena with one minute to go, declared the game over, and shepherded the crowd away. Pictures of Zádor's injuries were published around the world, leading to the "Blood in the Water" name, although reports that the water actually turned red were an exaggeration. Zádor said his only thought was whether he would be able to play the next match. Hungary went on to beat Yugoslavia 2–1 in the final to win their fourth Olympic gold medal. Zádor missed the match. After the event was completed, he and some of his teammates sought asylum in the West, rather than live in Hungary under a puppet pro-Soviet regime.
Tags: Olympics  water  polo  blood 
Added: 7th July 2012
Views: 3305
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Posted By: Lava1964
Avery Brundage Avery Brundage was the only American ever to become president of the International Olympic Committee--a position he held from 1952 to 1972. He was also the most controversial IOC head. Brundage had competed at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in the decathlon and pentathlon. He later acquired significant wealth from his contruction company combined with some shrewd investments. His vast fortune skewed his views of amateurism. Since he was independently wealthy, he could not see why every other amateur athlete could not be self-sufficient too. As a result, Brundage believed the only true athletes were amateurs. He denounced pro athletes as entertainers. Brundage rose to become head of the United States Olympic Committee by 1936. That year he controversially allowed the American team to compete in the Berlin Olympics despite heavy public pressure to boycott the Nazi-themed Games. He personally disqualified one notable female American athlete, swimmer Eleanor Holm, for allegedly engaging in immoral behavior on the team's ocean voyage to Hamburg. (Years later Holm claimed she had rebuffed the married Brundage's advances and he suspended her out of spite.) After the 1936 Games, Brundage openly praised Nazi Germany's economic resurgence and newfound national pride. By 1952 he became head of the IOC and a staunch defender of pure amateur sports, saying that the ideal Olympian should be a Renaissance person with many interests--not just the financial benefits of being a pro athlete. Critics labelled him "Slavery Avery." Despite being anti-communist, Brundage was impressed by the Soviet Union's national physical fitness programs and was instrumental in getting the USSR into the Olympic movement. Brundage was still at the helm of the IOC at age 85 in 1972 when a terrorist attack killed 11 Israeli team members. Brundage called for a day of mourning and then insisted the Games continue-- a decision still controversial today. In one of his final public speeches as IOC head, Brundage favored abolishing the Winter Olympics because of their growing commercialization. He died in 1975.
Tags: Avery  Brundage  IOC 
Added: 5th February 2013
Views: 1040
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Posted By: Lava1964
Chile vs Nobody - 1974 WC Qualifier In one of the strangest sporting scenes ever, on November 21, 1973 the Chilean soccer team took to the field at the National Stadium in Santiago in a crucial qualifying match for the 1974 World Cup tournament against no opposition! Their opponents were supposed to be the Soviet Union. Chile and the USSR were vying for the final berth for the 1974 World Cup tournament in West Germany. In the first game of a two-game playoff, the teams had played to a hard-fought 0-0 draw two months earlier in Moscow. However, a right-wing revolution toppled the elected Chilean government shortly thereafter. Hundreds of undesirable political leftists were executed at Santiago's National Stadium just two weeks before the scheduled return match. The horrified Soviets wanted the match to be played at a neutral site--or at the very least switched to a different venue within Chile. FIFA refused to move the game to another stadium, so the Soviets refused to play. At the appointed time, as this clip shows, the Chileans kicked off, made a few passes, and scored a goal into an unguarded net. Since there was no opposing team to take the subsequent kickoff, the referee forfeited the game to the Chileans. Chile was eliminated in the group stage of the 1974 World Cup.
Tags: soccer  World  Cup  Chile  USSR  qualifier 
Added: 16th October 2013
Views: 889
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Posted By: Lava1964
Winning Goal - 1976 Canada Cup The best hockey teams in the world had never met in an open tournament format before the 1976 Canada Cup event. Six countries competed in the inaugural event: Canada, USSR, USA, Sweden, Finland and Czechoslovakia. Canada and the Czechs advanced to the best-of-three final. Canada won the first game easily, 6-0. Game Two at the Montreal Forum produced a memorable moment in Canadian sports history: With the score deadlocked at 4-4 after regulation time, Darryl Sittler netted the Canada Cup-winning goal. Assistant coach Don Cherry had advised the Canadian players that Czech goalie Vladimir Dzurilla often ventured too far from his net and might be susceptible to being drawn out of position. Sittler followed Cherry's advice perfectly.
Tags: international  hockey  1976  Canada  Cup  Darryl  Sittler  goal 
Added: 13th October 2014
Views: 1155
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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