Lake Placid Olympic Stadium
As I’ve already written, my husband and I vacationed in upstate NY last month. I felt compelled to go to Lake Placid. I had never been to Olympic Stadium where the US hockey team won the Gold Medal in 1980. I had told the story time after time and integrated it into some of my trainings. Years later, I now find myself on another type of team – the Qivana team, with the captain of that 1980 Olympic hockey team – Mike Eruzione. As I walked into the stadium, I got goose bumps. I was walking on hallowed ground.
For those of you of a certain vintage, you may remember February 22, 1980. US morale was low. We were feeling the residual of Vietnam, Watergate, the oil crisis, and the Iranian Hostage situation. The Cold War was heating up.
Plan B went into effect: Hire Herb Brooks as the Olympic hockey coach, have some success at the games, and boost morale. The team was comprised of amateur and collegiate players. The Russians had older experienced and legendary players who played on world-class rinks! They had won EVERY world game and EVERY Olympic game since 1964.
In order to win the Gold Medal, the team would have to beat Finland. However, they would have to get by the Russians to do it – a task deemed nothing short of a miracle.
It was similar to David going against Goliath. Well, if you are familiar with the story, you know what David did to Goliath. Most people inhabiting the planet on that day know what Team USA did. It was SO well known, that Sports Illustrated ran its March 3 cover with absolutely NO words-just a picture of the winning team waving the American flag. No words were necessary. Everyone knew that Team USA had beaten the Russians!
How did it happen? Herb Brooks didn’t look for the most skilled players. He gave each player a personality test. He was building a team – not just a bunch of guys wearing the same jersey, not just a bunch of guys with their own agenda. He was building a TEAM. According to Myers-Briggs, a team is “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”
When they were trailing, Herb goes into the locker room and tells the guys that THIS is their moment. That if they do not go out onto the ice and win, they will regret this moment for the rest of their lives. What he said is so true. One of the strongest human emotions is regret. It is often said that most people will not regret the things they did. Most people will regret the things they did not do.
Mike Eruzione and Janet DeLeo
How many of us are not going the extra mile? How many of us have given up on dreams? Remember, when we were kids? We all dreamed. We dreamed before we allowed life to beat us up. Go back to that time when you thought all things were possible. One of my favorite sayings is that you can be the best jockey in the world and just be on the wrong horse. Think about what you want, “what you really, really, want”. If you know the prize, you will be willing to pay the price. Is there a price? Of course, there is. Anything worth achieving is worth working for.
Don’t ask yourself if it’s easy; ask yourself if it’s worth it? What can you do with your moments?
If a rag-tag bunch of kids can play the game of their lives and beat the best hockey team in the world, anything is possible.
Sports Illustrated named the moment the Top Sports Moment of the Twentieth Century.
Miracles can and DO happen. Know what you want. Believe that you will get it. Develop a written plan of action as to how you will achieve it. What miracle would you like to occur in YOUR life?
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After the game against the Russians, Herb went back into the locker room and cried. Obviously, those tears were tears of joy. What kind of tears will you shed? Will they be to celebrate what you did, or will they be to regret what you did not do?
Herb Brooks died in 2003 before the movie “Miracle on Ice” was released. Al Michaels, who announced the game all those years ago, was hired to recreate his announcing. The last ten seconds, however, are from the original broadcast when Mr. Michaels yells, “Do you believe in miracles?” “YES”. It was agreed that he could never recreate the emotion of that moment. Those of us who remember the moment know that is true.
The ice rink at the Olympic Stadium was renamed the Herb Brooks Arena.
Those goose bumps are back…..
Become the hero the people who love you believe you are….
The Best Way to Predict Your Future is to CREATE It,