As we are in an election year, I thought you would like this particular story that I found during my research. It comes from Colin Clark, who shares this powerful story of where he was when he got word of the Miracle on Ice:
“I was 20-years-old, the youngest staffer on the traveling Reagan for President Campaign on Feb. 22, 1980, and we were in a high school gym somewhere in New Hampshire. Gov. Reagan had just started a speech to maybe 5,000, when a Secret Service Agent went ‘pssst, hey kid. come here.’
I did, and he told me to go out to the war wagon to hear something. I got there, and the agents guarding the limo and war wagon were listening to the final minutes of the Miracle on the radio. At the end, I was so pumped I ran back in to my boss, David Fischer, and told him, excitedly saying I wish we could tell the Gov. He told me to figure out a way to, and just do it.
So on the back of my biz card I wrote: OLYMPIC HOCKEY FINAL JUST IN. SOVIET UNION 3, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 4!!
I walked right down the aisle in the middle of the crowd, right up to the dais, and went to one knee, waiting for an applause interruption. Mrs. Reagan looked at me like I had lost my marbles. When I could, I stood up and handed my card to the man sitting between the podium and Mrs. R, and asked him to please give it to the Gov. I then beat it over to the sidelines.
When the Gov. read it as the applause died down, he got the biggest, goofiest grin on his face, and he said, “I wish I had this news earlier when I was talking about these people.” He then read it exactly as written, and finished it of in a deep, emotional roar of United States of America- FOUR!!!!
The crowd went completely bananas, crying, screaming, hugging, complete pandemonium. Biggest spontaneous cheer of the entire campaign by far! Sure made the Gov. happy. Thanks, Herb. And all of you players.” – Colin Clark
Thank you, Colin.
You know, one of the reasons I like sharing the story of Lake Placid and the Miracle is that today we are as divisive a nation as I can recall in my 53 years. People love hearing how that team in 1980 and the spirit of that village in the Adirondacks galvanized us and made us one. There are powerful stories of TEAM from the fascinating things that happened that winter.
Vice President Walter was in Lake Placid for the USA USSR game and the gold medal. President Carter would not leave the White House while the hostages were in Iran then. When the USA boys beat Finland two days after the Soviet win and secured the gold medal, Mondale went in the locker room to congratulate the team. He was from Minnesota and know half the team was from Minnesota, so he asked coach Herb Brooks to identify those players.
Without missing a beat, Brooks said, “We don’t have any players from Minnesota.” Mondale was baffled.
“We are all from the United States of America,” Brooks said.
That is what every company, team and organization strives for. Yes, you have departments and divisions, but you are all one. When you reach that, you can achieve the gold medals in your line of work.
Born in Oxford and educated at Ole Miss, Charlie Adams is a motivational speaker who specializes in sharing the fascinating back story of Lake Placid and the Miracle on Ice. His 90 minute to 2-hour presentation is filled with patriotism, the American dream, and the power of team. It is delivered to corporate, educational and church audiences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.