Forty years ago this month, there was another story about the United States and the country that would become Russia.
It was called the “Miracle on Ice,” and it happened when the U.S. hockey team unexpectedly defeated the team from the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. The Soviets hadn’t lost a single hockey game at the Olympics since 1960, and they were the heavy favorites. So, the more than 34 million people tuning in to see the Americans persevere, under the direction of former hockey player Herb Brooks, ended up watching a truly iconic sports moment. Catch phrase and all!
Cut to 24 years later, and Disney recreated the inspiring event for a 2004 movie, released on Feb. 6. With a title shortened to simply Miracle, the movie starred Kurt Russell, playing Team U.S.A. Coach Herb Brooks, and some young hockey players, for authenticity.
Russell revealed while promoting the movie that keeping the movie authentic was important to him. He saw it all go down, as he watched from the hospital where his eldest son, Boston, had just been born and remained in the intensive care unit.
“It was spectacular to watch this thing grow, but I was only doing it out of the side of my eye, you know, because I was focused on what was going on with my son,” Russell told IGN when the movie came out. “The day of the Russian game, I was able to see the whole game, and it was the greatest game I ever watched. It was spectacular.”
The movie ended up being a hit with audiences. It earned more than $64 million at the box office and, for the most part, it was well received by both critics and moviegoers. Miracle consistently ranks on lists of the best sports movies.
See how much you remember about it all with our Miracle quiz.
Miracle is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.
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