Jim Craig and his teammates on the 1980 US Olympic hockey team came along at the right time. Against a backdrop of national doubt, insecurity, and anxiety the opening ceremonies of the XIII Olympic Winter Games took place in Lake Placid, NY.
If nothing more than a temporary diversion, the games were embraced by Americans. The nation was stumbling. American swagger and confidence had been laid low.
Within the three months prior to the opening ceremonies, Americans were taken hostage in Iran, and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. It seemed that the U.S. was powerless to combat or resolve either of those crises.
Yet even before the hostage taking and the Soviet invasion, America was hurting. There was an energy shortage and inflation was high.
On July 15, 1979, in an attempt to rally the country, President Jimmy Carter spoke on television to the American people. President Carter addressed straight on that America was suffering from a “crisis of confidence.” He told of one citizen who said to him, “Mr. President, we are confronted with a moral and spiritual crisis.” Another citizen said to the president, “Mr. President, we’re in trouble. Talk to us about blood and sweat and tears.”
For more about Jim, read his full bio.