Sports Movie of the Week – ‘Miracle’ [VIDEO]
You’d never think of ice hockey of being the number one most popular team sport in the US, but there was definitely a time when it was.
This month marks the 32nd anniversary of the unlikely march of the US Olympic men’s hockey team to the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. The drive to that improbable championship is dramatized in ‘Miracle,’ our Sports Movie of the Week.
In the 2004 film set in 1980, former US Olympic hockey player, now turned coach, Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) takes over a US national team made up of young, amateur players. Though the Americans have talent, the expectations placed on them were low due to the dominant nature of the Soviet Union’s hockey team, and the fact that they hadn’t won the gold in 20 years.
The US team slowly begins to take shape as the Olympics approach, but the Soviets rout the Americans in an exhibition prior to the start of the games in Lake Placid. It seems as though the Americans are not capable of playing well enough to face the Russians again during the Olympics. However, fate intervenes, and heroes are made during a few weeks in February of 1980.
Five Reasons to Watch ‘Miracle’
1. The locker room speech given by Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) prior to the medal round game with the Soviets is brief and direct, but wildly inspirational.
2. The actual game announcer Al Michaels reprises his role. His iconic “Do you believe in miracles?” has served as the event’s tagline since uttered in 1980.
3. Though nearly every viewer knows the outcome of the games, the film takes great care in giving that well-known ending proper context.
4. Discovering the way the team bonds around, and because of, Brooks’ endless conditioning drills and team-building exercises.
5. Seeing the re-creation of the team joining captain Mike Eruzione on the platform during the medal ceremony.
Click to watch the original trailer of the film below: