Nearly 40 years to the day, Las Vegas Motor Speedway will honor the “Miracle on Ice” USA Olympic hockey team before the Pennzoil 400 on Feb. 23.
The USA squad upset the four-time defending gold medal-winning Soviet Union team 4-3 in a semifinal game on Feb. 22, 1980 and then went on to win the gold medal two days later over Finland in Lake Placid, New York.
Among members from that team expected to be in attendance at LVMS are team captain Mike Eruzione; four-time Stanley Cup winner Ken Morrow; 1981 inaugural Hobey Baker Award winner and 1995 Stanley Cup winner Neal Broten; and Dave Christian of the famous Christian hockey family, whose father and uncle won Olympic Gold in 1960.
“We are excited and honored to be coming to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to share our 40th anniversary with the great fans of NASCAR,” Eruzione said. “It’s always special when we can get this group of guys together, and we’re looking forward to seeing some great racing action to wrap up our big Vegas weekend.”
As part of a three-day celebration honoring the team, the squad will take part in the “Relive the Miracle” event on Feb. 22 at the Thomas and Mack Center. The event will feature the team on stage with an interactive display of video, audio, memorabilia and never-before-seen components from their Olympic triumphs.
In 1999, Sports Illustrated named “Miracle on Ice” the top sports moment of the 20th century. In 2008, the International Ice Hockey Federation named that game the best international ice hockey story of the previous 100 years. The story was turned into a movie called “Miracle” in 2004, starring Kurt Russell as head coach Herb Brooks.
Here’s the closing minute of play, including Al Michaels’ famous “Do you believe in miracles?” call as time expired: