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1980s / 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.