1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team

By Robert J. Eccleston, Sculptor


Everyone agrees the 1980 US Olympic Hockey victory was a special and historic event. The “Miracle on Ice” was not winning the gold medal, however. The Miracle was the nexus of events that led to that victory-the merging of men and moment.

Had the 1980 U.S Olympic Hockey team been comprised of professional hockey players, it likely wouldn’t have been as special as the team of young, motivated athletes forged by an incredible coach. That coach chose the right people for the job, players with values, who were selfless and worked as a cohesive unit. He created a team who trained hard and never gave up, even if the odds seemed to be stacked against them. The “Miracle” was not that you won the gold medal. The Miracle was the culmination of events that led to that victory.

The fact that America was in the of a middle of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, a battle between the forces of democracy and communism, contributed to the importance of your victory. At a moment in time when America seemed to be on the ropes and needed a shot in the arm, this “Miracle” came along. This was not a David vs. Goliath story; it was an American story where teamwork, determination, courage, commitment, and a little help from above, lead to victory. Your story is inspiring to all.

This maquette is the prototype for a memorial that will consist of twenty life-size bronze figures depicting the team uniting as one after receiving their gold medals on the podium during the medal ceremony. This sculpture embodies the true spirit and values of the 1980 U.S Olympic Hockey Team as a team and not a group of individuals to include the true joy experienced by those who train hard as a team – who persevere as a team and overcome obstacles and emerge victorious. Engraved in the granite podium will be the names of the hockey team along with quotes from Herb Brooks.

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