The Olympics

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1980 Winter Olympics

The 1980 Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, NY with thirty seven nations participating in thirty eight different events. There were many exciting highlights and history making performances and circumstances. The first time artificial snow was ever used for the Olympics was during the 1980 Winter Olympics and it was also the year when The Peoples Republic of China came back into the Olympic events being called the Chinese Taipei. Another history making moment was when the American Eric Heiden won five individual gold medals, Eric Heiden was the first to do this and he swept all of the men’s speed skating contests. Eric Heiden also set four Olympic records and one world record in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

The 1980 Winter Olympics had events in figure and speed skating, the luge, the bobsled, Nordic skiing, Alpine and cross country skiing and the biathlon. They also had ice hockey and this is where the game that went down in history for the USA took place, “The Miracle on Ice”. The United States hockey team was mainly college students and amateur hockey players that were coached by Herb Brooks. Going into the 1980 Winter Olympics the Soviet Union was favored to win the gold medal in hockey. The United States team played an exhibition game against the Soviets shortly before the Olympics and got beat ten to three. The Russians were pretty much guaranteed a win in the Olympics, and they had won 5 times in the previous six tournaments. The game started and the USA team was down and eventually tied the game, then with about ten minutes to go in the game, the team captain Mike Eruzione scored a goal to make the score four to three in favor of the USA. The US team went on to defeat the Soviets and then went on to beat Finland for the gold medal, making history for USA hockey.