Outside the Walls: ‘Do You Believe in Miracles? Yes!’

Al Michaels fought back tears to get these words out as the 1980 United States Olympics hockey team mounted an unbelievable comeback in the final period of play to defeat a powerful Soviet Union team 4-3. The U.S. went on to secure the gold, but it was much more than a hockey game. For decades, the two superpowers flexed their muscles in the Cold War, and now the scales were beginning to tip in the direction of the United States.

It’s hard to believe that the turning point of the Cold War may have begun that day on a frigid ice surface by a group of American young people. This was no small task. The Soviet Union was a four-time defending gold medalist, with professional players who had a great deal of experience. The U.S. team was composed of amateurs and had the youngest team in the tournament — with a little bit of grit and a will to believe they could shock the world. In less than a decade, the Berlin wall came down, and the Soviet Union collapsed.

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