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“Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” With those memorable words, announcer Al Michaels became associated with what is widely considered the biggest - and certainly the most improbable - victory in US hockey history. The triumph of a group of US college players over what was thought to be the best hockey team in the world has been the subject of song and story since that February day in Lake Placid, NY at the 1980 Winter Olympics. But for every winner, there is a loser. Four years earlier, Valeri Kharlamov had helped secure the gold medal for his Soviet Union team at the Innsbruck, Austria, Olympics. This genuine medal was the Silver awarded to the Russian Hockey team players for their second place finish in Lake Placid. Complete with its original ribbon. One side of this gorgeous 3.25” diameter medal has “Ice Hockey” engraved below “Lake Placid 1980,” along with the official Lake Placid Olympic logo and pine cones and branches in relief. the other side features “XIII Olympic Winter Games” and the Olympic rings with a hand holding a flaming torch aloft with a mountain range in the background. The edge is stamped “Tiffany & Co, Sterling Silver” and dated “1979.” The medal displays some minor surface scratches, minor finish loss at the edges and small spots of pitting but overall it is quite presentable and certainly historic.
Some additional facts: This Silver Medal is one of only 20 in existence. Only the actual
players received them. Coaches and officials did not. Each Hockey Second Place
Silver Medal from the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics has “Ice Hockey” engraved on the
reverse, but the names of the players are not. The reason that the names were not
on any Soviet Silver Medal from the Hockey Tournament is because the names were
to be added after the Medal Ceremony. The entire Soviet Hockey Team left the
arena immediately after the medal presentation and refused to have their names
engraved. Each medal is made of solid sterling silver.
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