Herb Brooks at the Olympic Level
At the 1980 Olympics, Herb Brooks changed hockey forever. His 4-3 victory over the Soviets in the semifinal game lifted Americans from a decade of despair, reviving American patriotism and renewing the American spirit. After defeating the Soviet Union (who were undefeated in the past 20 years), Brooks led his young American squad to a gold medal victory over Sweden. The United States, the definite underdog in the Olympic tournament, gave hope to Americans across the nation by winning the gold medal but most importantly by beating the Soviets at their own game (Fitzpatrick 1). Brooks’ never before seen style of play that mixed the European puck handling style and North American dump and chase style, has been touted as the reason for the 1980 Olympic gold medal. Brooks didn’t want the best players, he wanted the right players, the player that was passionate about the game and that was willing to do anything for a victory (Gill 1). The 1980 Olympic gold or also known as “The Miracle on Ice” is one of the greatest sports stories America has ever seen. Brooks also coached the 2002 United States Olympic hockey team, earning the US a silver medal.
Herb Brooks: Miracle Man