“Miracle on Ice”

One of the most famous “Cinderella” stories in sports history, the amateur United States Hockey Team won the Olympic Gold Medal over the Soviet Union in 1980. Prior to 1980, the Soviet Team had one every year since 1964. There was little hope for the U.S. team and most thought that they would be wiped out within the first round of the tournament. U.S. Coach Herb Brooks selected a group of young, collegiate men to play for his team. The training was gruel, and often the teammates did not get along as they were from different hockey teams in their previous careers. No one thought that this disheveled team would go as far as they did. They were a team that essentially went from “rags to riches” and served as the underdog who came out on top.

Do you think that this is truly a “Cinderella” story?


About Elisabeth Gruner

English professor, University of Richmond
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3 Responses to “Miracle on Ice”

  1. dantaylor10 says:

    I think that this story is a great underdog story, but like many other so-called “Cinderella stories” in sports, it does not actually represent the true Cinderella tale. Again, this is a tale about “rags to riches,” but not “riches to rags to riches.” While one could argue that the US had experienced “riches” because it was the gold medal winner in the 1960 games, the players on the 1980 team and even the coach were not a part of that experience. Therefore, as a team, by beating the heavily-favored Soviets to win the gold in 1980, the US only made the transformation from “rags to riches.”

  2. I think that the phrase “Cinderella story” has been morphed by people over time. We see this phrase and being a person who starts out in a good life and then something bad happens causing them to be oppressed. During this period of oppression, we see “Cinderella” dream about great thing but remain passive in actually bringing them out. An outside force eventually comes to save Cinderella from this horrible lifestyle. This is how we, as Twice Told Tales students, would describe a “Cinderella story” because we have analyzed many versions. However, many people who have not gone through this process usually just call a story of when something great come out of something bad a Cinderella story. So I do believe that this hockey team can in a way be compared to a Cinderella story based on some of its components, but it is missing some of the key characteristics that we have seen in many true Cinderella stories.

  3. Andrew Brockett says:

    This is a Cinderella story as far as sports go. This is one of the greatest examples of an underdog team that won against all odds and truly went from “rags-to-riches” in the sports world. As far as it being an actual Cinderella story, it is not one. The team does not go from “riches to rags to riches” which at this point from this class seems to be a necessity in order to apply as a Cnderella story. Like I said, in the sports world this could be the one of greatest Cinderella stories ever, but does not qualify as a real Cinderella story because it lacks the “riches to rags to riches element.

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