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UCLA Historical Journal

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Parable on Ice: Hockey, Capitalism and American Decadence at the Lake Placid Olympics

  • Author(s): Jacobson, Zachary Jonathan
  • et al.

Two misconceptions fed the seemingly instantaneous mythologizing of the Miracle on Ice. First, that the win came “out of nowhere.”  Second, that the players were amateurs. These aspects of the Miracle story developed out of battles endemic to the larger sporting world.  Juxtaposed against professional athletes, the image of the “boys” was bolstered by the idea that they were not corrupted by monetary incentive, that they did not rely on the kindness of boosters, and that they were self-made. The story of the Miracle, in the biblical sense, relied on this construct. Even the secular definition of “miracle” demanded that the impetus for the event did not measure up to the output. Thus, a few details were consistently missed.

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