More than a miracle : the Korean war, Cold War politics, and the 1960 Olympic hockey tournament / MacIntosh Ross & E. K. Nagel

MacIntosh, Ross | Nagel, E. K.

This article documents the transformation of the American national hockey team from a poorly organized initiative into a powerful, partially state-sponsored operation, in the context of the broader geopolitical tensions of the Cold War. Although the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Czechoslovakia are typically portrayed as dubious ‘shamateurs’, paid by their respective militaries to do little but play hockey year round, the authors argue that the USA engaged in similar activities, albeit on a smaller scale. When the USA won hockey gold at the 1960 Olympics, the American media framed the team's success as a colossal upset of the mighty, military-supported USSR. The evolution of the American team, however, was far more complicated than this simple underdog story suggests. In this article, the authors use historical newspapers, sporting magazines, and government documents to illustrate the American government’s increasing commitment to international sporting success by examining the tumultuous USA national hockey program from the close of World War II (WWII) to the 1960 Olympics.


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