Greatest Sport Moments Of The 20th Century

Superior Essays
The 1980 U.S Olympic Hockey team’s victory over the Soviet Union is seen as one of, if not the greatest sports moment of the 20th century. Many believe that it was just a hockey game in which the U.S upset the Soviet Union. However, it was much more than just a game. In fact there were a lot of things that make it viewed as one of the greatest sports moments of the 20th century. It still has a lasting impact on the growth and development of American hockey today and has helped make the game become more popular throughout the world. So what makes it so memorable and important that we still talk about it today? One of the main reasons this game will go down as one of the ‘greatest sports moments of the 20th century is due to the time period in …show more content…
It was the time of the Cold War. The U.S and the Soviet Union were at the climax of a political and economic standoff. The tension was at an all time high heading into the Winter Games. The two super powers were head to head in the political ring. Each country was trying to push for either communism or capitalism, while at the same time producing massive amounts of nuclear weapons. It was a dangerous time period, and the U.S morale was down at the time after previously boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow and watching the Soviets clean house. Winning medal after medal in just about every event. So this battle on the ice between the U.S and the Soviets was much more that just a hockey game. It was the Cold War played out for 60 minutes in the form of one of the most violent games invented between two of the world’s largest super powers. The Cold War was to dominate international affairs in all facets. This is why the magnitude of the game was so intense. And that is why the victory for the U.S meant so much. Because it proved to Americans at home that the Soviets were beatable and weren’t a perfect war machine. It also showed that the U.S could overcome just about anything and that the American dream was still alive and …show more content…
Prior to the 1980 Olympics the U.S had never been super strong in hockey from an international standpoint. The Soviets had always dominated. However, the reason being, is because of the rules of the 1980 Olympics, which made it so amateurs were the only ones allowed to participate in the Olympics. That means that all the American born hockey players that played in the NHL and or AHL were not allowed to participate in the Olympics because they were under contract and therefore not considered amateurs. The reason that the Soviets were always so dominate was because back in the 1980 time period the Soviet government was very heavily influenced in the hockey community. In fact in most of the leagues in Russia, players were payed under the table, so technically they were not under contract because all of the payments weren’t on the books. So that means they were allowed to be seen as amateurs. That is how the Soviets always stacked their lineup with pro rate talent. They found a loophole and took advantage of it. At the time, college hockey was in the very early stages and it was very uncommon to have a college player that would even make it to the pros. Majority of the NHL was made up of kids that came from major junior in Canada or over seas. That means that the only available pool of players to pull from for the 1980 Winter Olympics were current NCAA players. Keep in mind the

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