Year on the Wheaties Box: 1997
In 1980 at the Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York, the men’s Olympic hockey team pulled off a "miracle on ice,” defeating the Soviets 4-3 in the semifinal game.
Because the Soviet Union had dominated hockey for years, few people believed the group of Americans—comprising aspiring professional players and college stars—would come out on top. When they did, the game became one of the most inspiring American wins in Olympic history.
After Mike Eruzione scored the winning goal, people wept, hugged strangers, broke into patriotic songs and waved massive American flags. After the game, Eruzione received huge bags of fan mail.
Although Champagne was sent to the locker room after the game, the players refused to drink it before their final match against Finland.
"If we don't win tomorrow," goalie Jim Craig told the media, "people will forget us."
The team went on to win gold, beating Finland 4-2.