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Russians remember the 1980 Olympics a little different than Americans

Mike Oz
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The 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, as remembered by a Russian airline magazine.

Do you believe in miracles? The Russians obviously do not. Nor do they seem to remember a certain "miracle" Olympic hockey game.

Yahoo Sports video producer Blair Johnson spotted the page above in a Russian airline magazine en route to the Sochi Games. It's about the 1980 Olympics in the U.S. and given what we now know about the conditions in Sochi, it's comical. It's also stunning in its omission of one of the most memorable Olympic moments ever, the "Miracle on Ice."

That's when the underdog Team USA hockey team beat the goliath Russian team in what Sports Illustrated eventually deemed the No. 1 sports moment of the 20th century. The Russians had won the gold medal in the previous four Winter Olympics. Team USA went on to claim the gold after winning one more game, while the Russians finished second.

"Russian athletes performed notably." That's it? That's kind of like saying the Buffalo Bills enjoyed four trips to the Super Bowl in the early 1990s with no mention of the outcome. 

Truth be told, it's understandable that an airplane magazine isn't going to acknowledge one of Russia's most historic Olympics losses — both because people are well aware of it, and because Russia isn't exactly the model of a free press. It's understandable, but no less amusing.

The part of the article complaining about the readiness of the games and how poorly run they were is also pretty special. Every Olympics is like hosting Christmas at your house times a billion. Not everything is going to be perfect on Day 1.

Even if the Lake Placid games weren't the best organized, that's not what people remember about 1980. They remember the hockey game. Given all we've heard recently about the accommodations in Sochi, it's safe to predict that in future conversations about Olympic preparedness, you're going to hear a lot more complaints about Sochi than Lake Placid.

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Mike Oz is an writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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