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1980 Winter Olympics
13th edition of Olympic Winter Games, held in Lake Placid, New York, USA between 13-24 February 1980
The United States men's ice hockey team, composed mostly of collegiate players and not predicted to advance beyond group play, won the gold medal. The United States team's 4-3 win over the veteran and professional Soviet team, which came into the 1980 Games having won four consecutive Olympic gold medals, became known as the "Miracle on Ice" in American popular culture. The win captured the hearts of Americans, even though it was the win against Finland that secured the gold medal.
Eric Heiden of the United States won gold in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m speed skating events, setting four Olympic records and one world record (10,000m) in the process and delivering 83% of the American gold medals (the only other gold, as noted above, was won by the hockey team). Heiden became the first person to win all five speed skating events, the first of only three to win five gold medals in individual events at a single Games (either Summer or Winter), and is still the only athlete to win five gold medals at one Winter Games.
The site was considered ideal for the available infrastructure from the 1932 Winter Olympics, most notably the Bobsleigh run. The existing facilities meant the Olympics could be staged on a reasonable budget and with limited environmental impact. It was not just a matter of convenience, either, according to Lake Placid's congressman, Representative Robert McEwen. "It is no secret to us in America that the measure of federal support given to athletes in Communist countries (so that they win medals and improve the countries' image abroad) is on a level unknown to us here in America," he told Congress." This would be a step in the right direction, a worthy investment in American winter athletes." The local Olympic committee needed congressional approval for funding to build the Olympic Village. Congress required an after use contract for facilities, and it was agreed that the Olympic Village would be built in accordance to Federal Bureau of Prisons needs. Following the Olympic Games, it was repurposed for Federal Correctional Institution, Ray Brook.
Two gold and bronze Olympic medals from XIII Olympic Winter Games, designed by Gladys Gunzer
These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1980 Winter Games.
Cyprus made their Olympic debut at the games. The People's Republic of China and Costa Rica both made their Winter Olympic debut. The Republic of China refused to attend both the Summer Games in Montreal, the Winter Games in Lake Placid and the Summer Games in Moscow over the IOC's recognition of the People's Republic of China as "China", and its request for the Republic of China to compete as "Chinese Taipei". The PRC, on the other hand, returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1952 and made its Winter Olympic debut, however then boycotting the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics.
Roni is the Olympic mascot of these Games, created by Don Moss. The mascot is a racoon, which is a familiar animal from the mountainous region of the Adirondacks where Lake Placid is situated. The name Roni comes from the word racoon in Iroquoian, the language of the native people from the region of the State of New York and Lake Placid and was chosen by Lake Placid school children.
The official theme song for the 1980 Winter Olympics was "Give It All You Got" by the American flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, who performed the song (along with the song "Pina Colada") live at the Closing Ceremony, with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (Canada).
^The emblem is a line that forms the Adirondacks, which becomes a column on the left, paying tribute to the ancient Olympic games. The top of the column is serrated to hold the Olympic rings. This represents a double cauldron, acknowledging that the Olympics were also held in Lake Placid in 1932.