40th Anniversary of 'Miracle On Ice' Is This Weekend
Zeke Fuhrman | Feb 20, 2020 AT 11:50 am
We've all heard the call. We've all heard the stories. We've all seen the movie. We all know the legend.
It seems like only yesterday 20 college-aged kids stormed the ice after arguably the biggest upset in sports history. February 22nd, 1980 in Lake Placid, NY. The US Men's Olympic Hockey Team had defeated the USSR team that had won five of the past six Olympic gold medals in the sport.
Led by head coach Herb Brooks, this team of mostly amateur players (four of the 20 players had minor league hockey experience), beat the Soviets 4-3 in the semi final round that year and would become the youngest team in tournament history to win the Gold.
The victory has become one of the most iconic moments in sports history. In 1999, it was named Sports Illustrated's Top Moment of the 20th Century. In 2008, it was named the best international ice hockey story of the past 100 years by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
And this Saturday is the 40th Anniversary of the game.
Festivities will be held at CHS Field in St. Paul (home of the St. Paul Saints), with a parade featuring Grand Marshalls Bill Guerin, John Mayasich and Craig Leopold.
While the team won't be in St. Paul for the celebration (the team is being honored at that night's game in Las Vegas between the Golden Knights and Florida Panthers*), there will dozens of past and present Minnesota hockey legends including Mayasich, Dick Meredith and Jack McCarten, who were all on the 1960 Olympic team as well as Brook's brother Dave and wife Karen. The parade will also feature NHL alum including Scott Bjugstad, Scott Bjugstad, Jim Boo, Paul Broten, Henry Boucha, Bill Butters, Jack Carlson, Curt Dahlquist, Dave Hanson, Christian Hanson, Reed Larson, Brad Maxwell, Lou Nanne, Steve Payne, Mike Peluso, Tom Reid, Neil Sheehy, Bill Watson, Carl Wetzel and Rick Zemlock in what will be a large celebration of the State of Hockey.
After the parade, celebrities will be available for autographs at CHS Field.
*18 of the 20 players from the team will be in attendance in Vegas, the exceptions being Bob Suter, who died in 2014, and Mark Pavelich, who was recently ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial following assault charges in northern Minnesota. Herb Brooks passed away in a car accident on his way home from a U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame celebrity golf event in Eveleth in August 2003.