Whatever Happened To?: US Olympian Mike Eruzione Is Still Cashing In on 1980 Medal-Winning Shot
BOSTOn — Eleven seconds, you got 10 seconds ... Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"
For millions of Americans, ABC commentator Al Michaels's countdown capped off one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history - the US hockey team's victory over the Soviet Union at Lake Placid, N.Y., in 1980. It was a romantic and almost surreal moment for a nation scarred by a hostage crisis in Iran and embroiled in an cold war with the Soviets.
Perhaps the epitome of that heroic team was captain Mike Eruzione. Midway through the third period, with the score tied at 3-3, he took a pass from Mark Pavelich and fired the game-winning goal past Soviet goaltender Vladimir Myshkin. It was the first time a Soviet team had lost to a US team since the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley, Calif.
While Eruzione opted to hang up his skates following the Olympics, he nonetheless cashed in on his new-found stardom. He worked as a television sportscaster and made public appearances.
And his role in the 1980 Olympics continues to open doors: "I play in celebrity golf tournaments and give motivational speeches on such topics as teamwork, success, and leadership," he says. And he hasn't strayed too far from the rink either. He is currently the director of development for athletics at Boston University and an administrative assistant for the BU hockey team.
But Eruzione still recalls Lake Placid with a bit of nostalgia. "What it did for us was to bring back pride in the United States. I think [America] needed that."