What's Worth Watching: Of Miracles and Men
30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men (Sunday, Feb. 8, 9/8c, ESPN)
Imagine being the bad guys in the feel good movie of the year. That's what it was like to be the Soviet national hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, where they lost 4-3 in the medal round to a plucky phalanx of American amateurs and college students who nabbed the gold two days later. (Years after, someone did make a movie about it, Miracle on Ice, starring Kurt Russell). They were the big, bad Russkies! Their hearts were colder than the ice they skated on! They trained in a world-class facility where our boys pulled donkey carts to tighten their core!
But, in truth, the Soviet players were just a bunch of top-tier athletes and good guys who had to endure years of shame after the loss. Of Miracles and Men tells the story of the 1980 Winter Olympics from their point of view, demystifying just about everything. (Though, they did have a fancy training rink, but it wasn't like the American team learned how to skate on the ice that formed when the cold mountain air mixed with their mothers' tears.)