The true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and the Miracle on Ice, which Sports Illustrated called the greatest moment in sports history—with a new afterword by Ken Morrow for the fortieth anniversary of the Miracle on Ice
“An unvarnished and captivating read.”—Parade
Once upon a time, they taught us to believe. They were the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, a blue-collar bunch led by an unconventional coach. Their “Miracle on Ice” has become a national fairy tale, but the real Cinderella story is even more remarkable.
Wayne Coffey casts a fresh eye on this seminal sports event, giving readers an ice-level view of the amateurs who took on a Russian hockey juggernaut at the height of the Cold War. He details the unusual chemistry of the Americans—formulated by their fiercely determined coach, Herb Brooks—and seamlessly weaves portraits of the boys with the fluid action of the game itself. Coffey also traces the paths of the players and coaches since their stunning victory, examining how the Olympic events affected their lives.
Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, The Boys of Winter is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of one Friday night in Lake Placid and the enduring power of the extraordinary.
In this well-written and thoroughly researched story of the 1980 Olympic gold-medal winning hockey team, New York Daily News sportswriter Coffey does much more than simply evoke memories. Expertly using coach Herb Brooks (who died last year in an auto accident) as his focal point, Coffey shows how Brooks, a devoted student of the game, used both psychological tactics and a groundbreaking system predicated on speed and constant motion to defeat the Soviets, a team of highly trained, older and bigger professionals who had dominated the international competition for decades. Over the years, this story of the Americans' victory has become larger than life, replete with drama and drenched in patriotic themes. Coffey's greatest achievement is that his narrative never sinks into melodrama. He captures the rigorous training and the thrill of the games, yet digs deeper, soberly rendering the tenor of the American spirit amid the Iranian hostage crisis and the Cold War, and humanizing and illuminating (rather than caricaturing) the Russian side. For example, although the Russians were a world superpower, they scrounged for Band-Aids and didn't use slap shots because a shortage of quality sticks meant they couldn't risk breaking them details suggesting the underlying faults of the Soviet regime. Coffey portrays the American side, a diverse collection of amateurs, warts and all, and gives special attention to Brooks, an enigmatic figure who turned a bunch of regional rivals into a tight-knit family whose bond still exists today. Filled with primary interviews and exceptional insight, Coffey's effort should delight more than just hockey fans. Photos. , February marks the 25th anniversary of the 1980 Olympic team, which could help sales.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Boys of summer
I came upon this book by accident while searching for something good to read. This is the best book about the 1980 miracle on ice team. I could not put it down. Thanks Wayne for writing an amazing book.
A must read
30 some years later hearing "Do you believe in miracles" still can bring tears to the eyes of a grown man. This book brings out all of those emotions, and provides a behind the scenes look into the players that made us believe. A must read for anyone who loves the game of hockey and can still remember where they were that Friday night in February 30 years ago...
Anyone who is a fan of the 1980 olympic team, or a fan of the movie "Miracle" will love this book. I would definitely consider it a must read for all hockey fans!