This weekend I caught the 2004 Disney film, Miracle, and pretty much loved it. Sure, it’s a cheesy Disney film where the underdog comes out on top, but it actually went down like that in real life, and I love when life gets cheesy. Have you seen it?
The movie’s about the hockey showdown between the USA and Russian teams in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Team Russia had consistently won world and National championships since the mid-1950’s. Nobody expected that to change, especially after Russia trounced USA in the exhibition game, 10-3. USA went into the Olympics as a serious underdog, and the rivalry was only increased by the long Cold War.
But one man thought it could be different. Herb Brooks.
What Herb recognized was that Team USA couldn’t win the games playing the same way it had always played. To change the outcome, it’s necessary to change your approach. And that meant he had to find a new style of coaching Team USA.
So that’s what he did. He taught his team a style of play that incorporated European techniques. His focus was on building stamina and physicality so they could go hockey stick to hockey stick with the highly physical Team Russia. He was confrontational, constantly goading them into doing more, being more, giving more. And, maybe most importantly, he formed them into one cohesive team, Team USA.
The game came down to the last five seconds, and the announcer, Al Michaels, asked the crowd, “Do you believe in miracles?!” Herb Brooks believed in miracles, and he ensured his team put in the work and dedication to make it possible.
Herb Brooks died before he was able to see the movie completed. The dedication at the end of the film is, “He never saw it. He lived it.”
Live your miracle.