Starting April 14, the National Geographic Channel will present “The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us.” The six-part series, narrated by Rob Lowe, examines the politics, culture, technology and other elements that defined the 10 years.
When it comes to sports, one of the biggest moments came during the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, N.Y. The world watched as a ragtag group of American hockey players defeated the Russians in what’s considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history. It’s still known as the “Miracle on Ice.”
The exclamation point was put on the win by announcer Al Michaels who asked “Do you believe in miracles?” when the game was over.
Jim Craig, the goaltender on that team, didn’t look at the game as a miracle but just the job the 20 players came to do.
“We weren’t afraid to fail, and we just took on the responsibility of representing your country as best as possible. I was telling people that every time somebody talks to me about this — as I get older and have different experience in life — I think I appreciate it more every day,” says Craig. “It wasn’t a miracle. It was a lot of hard work by people who believed in a sheer dream.”
There were no assurances the Americans could even keep up with the Russians. It was team work that silenced all of their critics.
“I think we were thrilled, and it was great to be able to represent your country. I don’t think we really thought about winning it individually. I think it was a collective goal that we had and everybody just did the best they could and with great pride in representing your country and doing something really special to make people happy,” Craig adds.
A flashback to how that made the sports world happy is included in the National Geographic Channel special.