The movie is a testimony to what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. Herb Brooks developed a scheme where he felt we could compete with the Russians but was totally foreign to the way we normally approach the game. It meant not necessarily selecting the best hockey players but ones who could fit his system. Brooks was merciless but effective during training. Russell is outstanding in the role as the taskmaster. “Miracle” is an unforgettable film.
In a sense, Lake Placid was the last “innocent” Winter Olympics. The ice hockey team’s historic upset heightened interest in the games in this country. Rights fees exploded, professionals were officially allowed to compete, and numerous sports were added. The bizarre Tanya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan 1994 ice skating controversy only added fuel to the fire.
Russia just spent over $50 billion to prepare Sochi for the games. The outcome was deemed a success but somehow it doesn’t seem right. When someone wins gold and appears in a commercial even before the medal ceremony one wonders what happened to the Olympic ideal. “Miracle” is a reminder of the pure inspiration that the Olympics can produce without all of the baggage.