Analysis Of The 1980 Miracle On Ice

In 1980 the American ice hockey team that participated in the winter Olympics won under extremely unlikely circumstances. The most die hard fans hoped that they would be victorious but did not think it was possible. Despite the unlikeliness of their winning, it did happen and it was seen as so far-fetched that it came to be known as the miracle on ice. This essay serves as an objective analysis of this phenomena and how it came to take place.

Why it is not a miracle

To call something a miracle implies that it is the work of God. This is offensive not due to latent atheism but because it assumes that God is more willing to listen to the prayers of American sports fans than those of mothers with children dying of chronic illnesses. Or those of people in war torn countries where the cease fires seem to never last. Or people who are in the midst of violent bank robberies and never make it out alive. Again, this is not to say that God does not exist. Merely that sometimes things happen just because they do, not because a particular team has been shown favor.

What it could be called instead

This particular circumstance can be looked at through any number of lenses other than the spiritual. For instance, the American supporters were very vocal about their feelings for their team. The match was also taking place in a stadium in New York. The home team advantage may sound like a myth but if a team is surrounded by supporters, it makes them feel much more enthusiastic about the match. Thinking that they can win is the first step to playing like they can win and thus winning. Granted, the Brazilian football team can show you that this is far from foolproof but it helps. From a physiological standpoint, perhaps the opposing team was tired out from previous matched and this, combined with a lower level of familiarity with the court, created a problem for them. Psychologically, there may have even been an argument between teammates that had them all on edge and less observant of the happenings of the match.

Anything can be looked at from many different directions. When we use the word miracle too loosely, we lose out on our chance to find out more about the world around us.