"The first gold medal of the Winter Games went to someone from Lake Placid." explained 1980 Winter Olympics scheduling coordinator and Lake Placid tour guide Jim Rogers. "We were the only people who really believed we could pull off an Olympics. As a matter of fact I think that the International Olympic Committee felt that if we didn't pull of the Winter Olympics, there would've been no more winter games."
"You have to remember in the late 1970's and going into those Olympics America was really not in a good place." continued ORDA public relations coordinator Jon Lundin. "The country was looking for something to rally against"
"We just didn't feel good about America, and then along came that hockey game." Rogers remembered.
When Team USA knocked off the seemingly unbeatable Russians, the Miracle on Ice changed it all.
"When the US beat the Soviet Union en route to the Gold Medal, people who are 33 years old and older can tell you exactly what they were doing, what they were eating, what they were wearing who they were with."
February 22nd, 1980 11,000 people packed themselves into the Herb Brooks Arena to experience the Miracle on Ice. On delayed broadcast, 33 million Americans tuned in to experience on of the biggest moments in television history.
"That hockey game changed it for America" said Rogers.
TV rights for the 1980 Winter Olympics cost $15 million versus $775 million for the Sochi games in 2014.
"It allows us to sustain our legacy going back 33 years and allows us to build a legacy going further." Lundin said.
Lake Placid cemented themselves as one of the pillars of the Olympic games.
"If you have a dream of being a Winter Olympian," said Lundin. "Somewhere, someday, you're going to have to make your way through to Lake Placid."
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