Miracle on Ice reunion to include all but 2 players from 1980 Olympic hockey team

Miracle on Ice
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All but two players from the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team will gather for a 40th anniversary weekend in Las Vegas, an event organizer said.

“Relive the Miracle,”, reminiscent of a 35th anniversary celebration in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2015, will be Feb. 21-22 in Las Vegas.

“Back then [in 2015], we had talked about doing it again,” said Jeff Holbrook, who helped organize the 35th and 40th anniversary events. “We’ve been sort of talking about it on and off since that time. Getting the [players] to be on board, I certainly don’t want to say it was easy because it’s never easy when you’re dealing with that many different people, but I think everybody knew when you pack a place like Like Placid with 10,000 people, you know the concept is there. So I think getting them behind it wasn’t hard to do.”

Eighteen of the 20 players on the Miracle on Ice roster committed, including captain Mike Eruzione and goalie Jim Craig, Holbrook said.

The weekend will be missing defenseman Bob Suter, who died in 2014, and forward Mark Pavelich, who was jailed last year on assault charges and ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial.

The 35th anniversary included all living team members gathering for the first time since coach Herb Brooks‘ death in 2003. The only other full reunion since 1980 was for an NHL All-Star weekend event in Los Angeles in 2002. When the team lit the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic cauldron, it was missing Mike Ramsey and Pavelich.

The 40th anniversary weekend kicks off with a two-hour Vegas Golden Knights season-ticket holder event at Brooklyn Bowl on Feb. 21, a Friday night. Holbrook said it sold out in 16 minutes.

Then on Saturday, Holbrook said the goal is for 12,000 people to attend an event at the Thomas & Mack Center on the exact 40th anniversary of the 4-3 win over the Soviet Union.

That “will feature the team on stage with an interactive display of video, audio, memorabilia and never-before-seen components from their Olympic triumphs. A celebrity emcee will moderate conversations between the players, celebrities, and NHL stars as the team takes you through the Miracle on Ice with behind-the-scenes information and stories that chronicle ‘what really happened,'” according to a press release.

Differences from 2015 include the addition of 1980 U.S. Olympic assistant coach Craig Patrick and plans for an element from the Soviet perspective. Holbrook also said there will be celebrity involvement from both the hockey and non-hockey realms. Holbrook, a managing partner for Potentia Athletic Partners whose clients have included Wayne Gretzky, would not reveal specifics but said “the names are substantial.”

Finally, the 1980 team members will be honored during the Golden Knights game versus the Florida Panthers at T-Mobile Arena that Saturday night.

“The tentacles of the Miracle on Ice are so vast,” Holbrook said. “People from different walks of life, whether it’s rock bands or movie stars or politicians, whatever it is, have all been affected by it.”

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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