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United States Gold: "Forgotten Miracle"

We are just hours away from the highly anticipated gold medal matchup between the United States and Canada. While we prepare for that game it is a great time to look back at the first hockey gold medal the United States won. It was 50 years go today that the USA won the gold medal at Squaw Valley at the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Like this team, the 1960 team was not a favorite to win the tournament but they beat both Canada and the USSR on their way to an upset victory. That medal has been overshadowed since the Miracle on Ice on 1980. We all know the names of Jim Craig, Mark Johnson and Mike Eruzione, however the names of Jack McCarten (goalie),Bill Christian and  Bill and Bob Cleary are not as well known.

There are many facts about the 1960 and 1980 teams that are largely unknown to many of us. The coverage over the past couple of days has made it abundantly clear the 1980 team had to play Finland after upsetting the USSR, even a casual fan is aware of that fact by now. One fact that most of didn't know is that team didn't have a perfect record, the 1960 team is the only USA hockey team to finish the tournament with a perfect record, a feat this years team can accomplish with a win over Canada this afternoon.

Andy pointed us all to a DVD Documentary called "Forgotten Miracle" back in his Christmas shopping list back in December. I had the pleasure of reviewing the DVD in December and found now was the perfect time to share my thoughts with you.

In the effort of full disclosure I am required to tell you that I was given a free copy of the DVD by the directors Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne. I would like to thank them for allowing me the opportunity to review the DVD.

If you were lucky enough to have lived through the run by the 1960 hockey team, this DVD might give you an opportunity to relive that magical moment. I was not lucky enough to have lived through the Forgotten Miracle and was forced to look at it as an outsider. I am embarrassed to admit that I knew almost nothing about the 1960 team, except they won gold and 1980 head coach Herb Brooks was a player that was one of the final cuts from the team.

As someone who knew very little about the team, I thought the DVD was simply fantastic. I find the history of sports very fascinating and this DVD did a great job of helping me relive the moments on the ice. There was some on ice footage but the DVD focused mostly on interviews with former members of that squad. It was great to hear the words of the players that realize what they accomplished even if nobody ever talks about it.

The story these men tell was simply fascinating to hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike. I watched the DVD with my wife and when it finished we talked about it for at least another half hour. We were both amazed at how little we knew about such an important time in our countries history. The directors do a great job of making you feel national pride while telling the stories of these men that gave their all and became the first USA hockey team to win gold.

I received a press release regarding the DVD and the history of the team yesterday and I would like to share it with you now.


Team USA Skates for Gold on 50th Anniversary of Forgotten Miracle Hockey Upset
February 28th game marks 50 years since the first US gold medal in hockey

FEBRUARY 27, 2010 - Before Team USA beat Canada 5-3 in these Vancouver Olympics, it had been 50 years since the USA's last Olympic victory over their northern rivals. On February 28th, 50 years to the day since that first fabled team won gold in Squaw Valley, the USA hopes to again channel the 1960 "Forgotten Miracle" to take home the gold medal with another victory against Canada.

The 1960 hockey team stunned the USSR and Canada, the two dynasties of the era, en route to what is still the USA's only unblemished Olympic record. A victory by the USA tomorrow would match that impressive run.

It would be a fitting coda to the story of the original US golden boys. The 1960 team, long overshadowed by their "Miracle on Ice" countrymen, have finally gotten their much-deserved recognition in this golden anniversary of their achievement. The team has recently been featured in profiles by NBC Nightly News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as a feature length documentary film, aptly titled, "Forgotten Miracle."

"Quiet pride," says hero goalie Jack McCartan in the film, describing his feelings about their under-the-radar victory. "I don't have to have everyone tell me how great it was, but I know in my own head."

"Forgotten Miracle" features rare archival footage of the first televised Olympic Games, illustrated reenactments and interviews with stars of the 1960 team, including coach Jack Riley, brothers Bill and Bob Cleary, defenseman John Mayasich, brothers Bill and Roger Christian and standout goalie McCartan. Detailing the quiet rise of American hockey in the 1950s-a time dominated by the Canadian and the Soviet dynasties-through the 1960 Olympic triumph, the film
reveals a lost chapter in America's hockey history.

The feature-length film is directed by Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne, creators of "Pond Hockey," a 2008 documentary illuminating the world of outdoor hockey.

"Forgotten Miracle" is presented in association with USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States.

Visit www.forgottenmiracle.com to view the trailer for "Forgotten Miracle" and day-by-day summaries of the 1960 Olympic hockey run. For more information on USA Hockey and the 2010 Olympic Men's Ice Hockey team, visit www.usahockey.com