Remembering the 'Miracle on Ice' Nearly 38 Years Later - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Remembering the 'Miracle on Ice' Nearly 38 Years Later

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nearly 38 years after the U.S. men's hockey team defeated the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, Jack DeHeer remembers witnessing the "Miracle on Ice." (Published Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017)

    Nearly 38 years after the U.S. men's hockey team defeated the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, Jack DeHeer remembers witnessing the "Miracle on Ice."

    "Oh, it was incredible! The adrenaline was flowing," he said.

    DeHeer wasn't just a spectator. He was a member of the Netherlands national hockey team, which knew the Soviets well.

    "We had just played them twice in Holland," he said.

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    The Dutch lost both games.

    "If the Americans played the Russians 10 times, they would usually lose 10 times. Everybody would. They were that good," DeHeer said.

    The Soviets were not only heavily favored to win the game, but it was also the height of the Cold War. The Soviet Union had just invaded Afghanistan.

    "This was a different time, a different place," said Andy Flynn, editor of The Lake Placid News. "In 1980, the Soviets and the Americans were enemies. They had nuclear weapons pointed at each other."

    DeHeer recalls the moment the clock ran out, and Team USA won by a score of 4-3.

    "I still see Jim Craig wrapping the American flag around himself," DeHeer said, referring to the U.S. goalie.

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    As the celebration erupted, it was legendary sportscaster Al Michaels who exclaimed, "Do you believe in miracles?"

    The U.S. went on to win the gold medal by defeating Finland. But it was the game against the Soviets that is now considered to be one of the greatest moments in sports history.

    "It's part of American fabric now," said Flynn. "It happened once. Only once. It will never happen again."

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