Select Text Level:

On February 22, 1980, the American ice hockey team played the “Miracle on Ice”—it defeated the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The hockey game was a complete upset, and put the U.S. in position to win the gold medal against Finland two days later.
 
The Soviet team was so heavily favored that the game was not shown live on American television. The Soviets had won the gold medal at every Winter Olympic competition since 1964, and lost just three world championships in that time. 
 
Cold War tensions contributed to the emotions surrounding the game. President Jimmy Carter was considering withdrawing the American team from the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union, to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan months earlier. (The U.S. did not participate in the Summer Olympics that year.)
 
The “Miracle on Ice” was named the international “story of the century” by the International Ice Hockey Federation in 2008, and Sports Illustrated’s “sports moment of the century” in 1999.
Cold War
Noun

(1947-1991) conflict between the Soviet Union (and its allies) and the United States (and its allies). The two sides never confronted each other directly.

consider
Verb

to think about.

invasion
Noun

an attack or move to take possession.

Olympics
Noun

international sports competition divided into summer and winter games held every four years.

protest
noun, verb

demonstration against a policy or action.

Soviet Union
Noun

(1922-1991) large northern Eurasian nation that had a communist government. Also called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR.

tension
Noun

uncomfortable relationship between two people or groups.

tournament
Noun

competition.

upset
Noun

surprising victory over a strong opponent.