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Sports Then and Now



40 Years Ago: Remembering the Miracle on Ice 0

Posted on February 22, 2020 by Dean Hybl

For anyone who remembers the U.S. Hockey team’s shocking victory over the seemingly unbeatable Russians on February 22, 1980, the fact that it has now been forty years since that amazing night likely does little to dim your memory of what has become known in sports lexicon as “The Miracle on Ice.”

I was a 12-year-old growing up in Southern Virginia, a place no one would ever confuse for being a hockey mecca. However, we were big fans of the Winter Olympics, most especially because they were being held in the United States in Lake Placid, New York.

Unlike today where we have hundreds of television stations, not to mention the internet, and you can watch coverage seemingly all day and all night, in 1980 most of the coverage occurred during the evening hours and often events were shown on tape delay. However, because we didn’t have a news network on our phone, it was easy to not know the results when watching the show each night.

By the time the U.S. was going to play Russia in the hockey semifinals, the two week run of the Olympics was nearing conclusion.

American Eric Heiden had already won four speed skating gold medals in record time and the next day would claim his fifth in the men’s 10,000 meters.

The popular event of figure skating had produced heartbreak and disappointment for the Americans. Linda Fratianne had just missed out on a gold medal in the women’s figure skating and Charles Tickner claimed bronze in the men’s figure skating, but the biggest heartbreak came in the pair skating. The five-time U.S. Champion duo of Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner were forced to withdraw from the competition because Gardner had a serious thigh injury.

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Eric Heiden: Speed Skating Superstar 5

Posted on February 11, 2014 by Dean Hybl

The February Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the individual star of the Winter Olympics best remembered for the performance of one team.

During the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, 21-year-old Eric Heiden completely dominated the men’s speed skating events winning all five gold medals. Read the rest of this entry →

30 Years Later: Remembering the Miracle on Ice 6

Posted on February 14, 2010 by Joe Gill

The Massachusetts Miracle Men with BU official(middle).

The world was in a state of turmoil. The Cold War was at epic heights between the Soviet Union and the United States.

America was secretly funding the Afghan rebels to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan.

There was no love loss between the two countries whether it was world affairs or on the ice.

The 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York was not just an international athletic competition, but a showing of superpower muscle.

And a band of collegiate hockey players from the Midwest and New England, were David trying to take down the Soviet Goliath.

Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione, Dave Silk, and Jack O’Callahan grew up playing hockey on rinks in the Boston area.

Jack O’ Callahan hailed from Charlestown, Mass.

Jim Craig called North Easton home.

Mike Eruzione grew up in Winthrop.

Dave Silk was raised in Scituate.

These four sons from the Bay State all attended Boston University, one of the country’s collegiate hockey powerhouses which was coached by the now legendary, Jack Parker.

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Jim Craig – Olympic Hero 4

Posted on January 31, 2010 by Joe Gill

Jim Craig

Jim Craig

The February Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month, was a crucial member of a squad that registered one of the most unexpected and memorable performances in Winter Olympic history.

Massachusetts native, Jim Craig was an integral part of the impossible dream and Olympic victory in Lake Placid, New York. February will mark the 30th anniversary of the “Miracle On Ice” when the United States hockey team stunned the powerful Soviets and went on to capture the gold. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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