RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Many people remember exactly where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing when they saw Team USA hockey's historic upset of the Soviet Union in 1980, and many more have heard Al Michaels' iconic call as time expired.
But Bob Black, the current radio voice of Richmond Spider football and basketball, had a different experience of the event than most people.
Black was a student at Syracuse University at the time and made his way to Lake Placid to cover the Olympics for the campus radio station. He was there to cover many sports, but had the chance to witness the dramatic American victory in person.
"I was situated at the top of the arena on a catwalk, standing to watch the entire game," Black recalls.
He was with many other media members, and says people in the building could feel the impact and the significance of what was occurring. As the final moments ticked off the clock, Black recorded his own account of what he was seeing into a tape recorder.
Then it was time to dash across the Olympic Village to the media center, where he would file his report and send it back to Syracuse. That journey is one Black says is one of the most memorable things about the experience.
"To see the pride, the American patriotism, the flags waving, the USA chants, all the while gripping my tape recorder," he remembers.
The rest of the world would see the game in primetime on tape delay, but listeners in Syracuse may have gotten a little bit of a spoiler in advance.
"Technically, we weren't supposed to air anything until ABC ran the game. Well we didn't think they were going to know the difference if a small student radio station ran a report, which is exactly what happened."
Every four years during the Winter Olympics, the historic game is highlighted, Michaels' call is played, and the final seconds of the game make their way onto a broadcast.
Black says it's a good chance to remember what that moment was like, and things such as where he was, the people he was with, and the things he saw come back pretty easily.
Thursday marks the 38th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. Team USA beat the Russians, 4-3, in the semifinals, and would top Finland two days later to win the gold medal.
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