Miracle February 22, 2017 was the 37th Anniversary of the Miracle on Ice game vs. the former Soviet Union. Friday will be the anniversary date of Team USA beating Finland to clinch the gold medal. The University of Minnesota head coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) interviews with the United States Olympic Committee for the national team coach’s job, discussing his philosophy on how to beat the Soviet team, calling for changes to the practice schedule and strategy. There is the added context that these Olympic games are occurring during the Cold War, making the Soviet team even more important than they already were.
Miracle is the Greatest Sports Moment of the 20th Century
Gavin O’Connor directed and Mark Ciardi produced the movie. Both are drawn to inspirational stories and they decided to take on the Greatest Sports Moment of the 20th Century. They chose to focus on the determination and focus of coach Herb Brooks. O’Connor knew from the beginning that he wanted to cast Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks because he needed someone with an athletic background and a fiery passion for sports. The casting of the team consisted of real hockey players to give the film a raw and accurate feel. O’Connor figured it would be easier to teach hockey players to act than to teach actors to play hockey. On-ice tryouts were held in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Vancouver. Another tryout was held in Vancouver for the Soviet and European teams.
There are a total of 133 different hockey plays in the film. To accomplish this, the directors turned to ReelSports Solutions, who had helped with the producers on a previous movie, The Rookie. The ReelSports team referred to coach Herb Brooks for information on practices, plays, equipment, and uniform styles. Each fight and stunt scene was choreographed to ensure the actors’ safety. Players went through a six-week training camp to relearn the game in older equipment.
Miracle Determined Coach Herb Brooks had an impossible dream.
Herb Brooks beat the seemingly unbeatable Soviets at their own game. Starting with a handpicked group of 26 undisciplined kids, Brooks coached them to play like they never played before, and turned 20 of them into a team that believed they could achieve the unachievable – and in the process, united a nation with a new feeling of hope.