The Adirondacks in August Are Frozen in Time

Loyal reader John Wahala shared with us this week photos from his August vacation in the Adirondacks, which included his first-ever visit to Herb Brooks Arena. While we in D.C. were melting John was bluejeaned and sweatshirted and strolling down American hockey’s most Memorable Lane.
His images of the arena’s interior bring a fresh perspective as to just how intimate a setting the Miracle on Ice offered. Accounts of that fabulous Friday night 27 years ago commonly allude to 10,000-plus frenzied supporters in red, white, and blue, but looking at these pics, do you see room enough for 10,000? This USA Today account of the arena’s dedication to Brooks claims that normal capacity is 7,700 but that somehow 11,000 were crammed in on the night of the Miracle. Whatever the number, theirs was a privileged perch for all time. Imagine how close to the history they all were, and its sound during Al Michaels’ immortal countdown.
“Welcome to the site of the sports event of the century” indeed.

Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum - photo by John Wahala
Outside the Olympic Museum
Lake Placid Olympic Center - photo by John Wahala
Miracle on Ice
Herb Brooks Arena Entrance - photo by John Wahala
Entrance to the Herb Brooks Arena
Herb Brooks Arena - photo by John Wahala
Herb Brooks Arena
Herb Brooks Arena - photo by John Wahala
Herb Brooks Arena again
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10 Responses to The Adirondacks in August Are Frozen in Time

  1. GoBucks9 says:

    nice.

  2. SovSport says:

    I can’t believe you are still celebrating that one and only win 🙂 Imagine if we celebrated every win… We’d have so many museums 🙂

  3. Someone is going to be very startled at the requirements for Russian nationals at their American naturalization ceremonies. It is a requirement made only of our Russian friends: they must reproduce in writing Coach Brooks’ famous pre-game address to his American team from February 22, 1980, and immortalized in ‘Miracle’; faithfully identify all of the coach’s line combinations from that night; and of course sing the Star Spangled Banner with a Minnesota accent.

  4. SovSport says:

    There must be a waiver available, like the one given to people who cannot “bear arms” due to their beliefs 🙂

  5. Stimpy says:

    I’m currently in St. Paul this week and yesterday stood next to the Herb Brooks statue near the Excel Energy Center. The Miracle aura abounded yesterday.

  6. TG says:

    For years, I knew my cousin had attended the 1980 Olympics, and family lore had it that he went to the US-USSR game. (We all knew he had gone to a US hockey game and everyone just assumed it was that one.) At a family reunion last year I asked him about it, having never heard the story first-hand.
    “Paul, I know you went to the 1980 Olympics. I was wondering did you attend”
    He stopped me. “No, I didn’t go to the US-Russia game. I had tickets for the NEXT game (US-Finland) and my friends and I were headed to Lake Placid for something else before that and got to town about 2 hours after the US-Russia game ended, and it was just utter chaos there for the next 7-8 hours.”

  7. TG – Thanks for sharing your family’s experience. Accounts like yours terrifically enhance our modest blog files.

  8. Andrew says:

    I walked into the arena in Lake Placid in about 1984. I snuck in when there was nothing going on…it was about the same as photo #4, but without the skaters.
    I was only in there for about three minutes. It was eerie to have the same spine tingle as I have each time I hear “Do you believe in miracles…?”
    And, I still curse Renee Poussaint.

  9. OrderedChaos says:

    Check out this excellent USA jersey photo on Tapeleg’s Jerseys¬†and Hockey Love blog:
    http://jerseysandhockeylove.com/blog/2006/08/18/jersey-usa-usa-usa/
    I love the old Lake Placid patch!

  10. Thanks for the wonderful photos OFB. It’s time for me to watch the “Miracle” again. SovSport, your comments made me laugh, but I can’t imagine ever seeing another improbable victory like that game. But, if the Caps & Ovie hoist the Cup one day, I’ll have an equally enjoyable hockey game memory for this century!!

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