An epic tale of pure determination, inspires me as even the most unlikely of people can achieve tremendous feats.
The story is set when the shambolic USA hockey team of 1980 are given the insane task of defeating the USSR at ice hockey. The challenge was all the more difficult because after many decades of cold war there was naturally a feel of animosity between the USA and USSR. Many would have lost all hope at that point – but not those six plucky American individuals, they were prepared to show the world the magnificent triumphs that they were destined for.
There are times that statistics are reassuring, but this wasn’t one of them, at least for the Americans. They should have been preparing for utter annihilation. USSR had not only won 97% percent of their games in the last 16 years but had regularly obliterated the opposition including a 10-3 humiliating defeat of USA the last time the teams met.
USA didn’t exactly have a flying start, in fact they did precisely the worst thing to do in an underdog situation. The dominating Soviet team went 1-0 up (as expected) and continued to relentlessly shoot at the American goal but surprisingly were unsuccessful. However the American, Buzz Schneider, scored to a roaring crowd albeit it might have seemed like he was simply postponing the avalanche of Soviet goals to come but was there a chance that he had created a stepping stone for the Americans to take and achieve a dramatic upset? No. The Soviets then returned the favour with a stunning goal from Sergei Makarov. In the dying seconds of the first period an American hockey player by the name of Dave Christian fired an extremely long shot which rebounded to fellow teammate Mark Johnson who put it home to finish the first period an impressive two all.
Out of fury, Russian coach Tikhonov replaced Tretiak with backup goaltender Vladimir Myshkin immediately after Johnson's tying goal. Upon reflection in later years Tikhonov commented on his exchange of goal keepers, a shocking move to say the least, as being the "turning point of the game" and "the biggest mistake of my career” but during that second period the Soviets still went 3-2 up.
After a frustrating half an hour in the final period for the Yankees, they had only managed a mere two shots when they received a free shot, a golden opportunity. After a half decent shot the puck was cleared but in the few minutes that remained the Americans scored to their delight and opponents amazement. Whilst the Russians were trying to compose themselves from this setback, the underdogs bagged another and were on their way to an astonishing four-three victory over their most hated rivals. The last ten minutes seemed to prove the most challenging for the novices as their adversaries had become extremely angry and pushed for a goal. The fans watched on nervously as the American goal post was struck on numerous occasions but the puck refused to go into the back of the net. With a second left on the clock, the commentator exclaimed the famous phrase “do you believe in miracles”. It was all over, the impossible was clearly possible.