At the 1980 Winter Olympics, the US men's ice hockey team defeated Soviet Russia in the semifinals. This touchstone moment in US Cold War history has been studied as a political victory for an American public exhausted by a series of public political defeats; a lynchpin in the development of a militarized masculinity; and a glorified memory of US power. However, this scholarship makes just passing reference to the whiteness imbued in the rhetoric surrounding the 1980 US-Soviet Olympic hockey match, and as such, does little to explain the racial dynamics present in the performance of remembering the Miracle. This article argues that the way media sources, political figures, and athletes commemorated the Miracle reinforced an understanding of white, working-class families as the normal, better standard for Americans in the larger political and cultural context of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Thus, the Miracle on Ice cannot simply be viewed as an innocuous moment enshrined in Cold War and sports history. Rather, the nostalgia attached to the Miracle reveals a sustained investment in the normalization of whiteness as ideal within the United States. The Miracle, far from simply being an underdog story, is a tale told and retold to demonstrate why the normative American family is white and working class.

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