Last year, readers voted the March 3, 1980, cover of Sports Illustrated as the most iconic in the magazine’s 60-year history. On Saturday, the subjects of that cover gathered in Lake Placid, N.Y., to commemorate and celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice.
“I remember the moment very clearly,” recalled defenseman Jack O’Callahan. “How it happened with Mike Ramsey and I, and how I jumped on the ice. Rammer was on the ice and I was on the bench, and when we won the game I jumped on the ice and I saw Mike and I just attacked him.”
O’Callahan is on the bottom right of the photo with his arms up in the air and Mike Ramsey is lying on the ice below him.
“I remember just the exuberance, and if you look at the picture, I’m not looking up,” O’Callahan said. “We’re not looking up, we’re looking in each other’s eyes. It’s a picture of pure joy, pure elation, a tremendous victory. A 22-year-old college senior, graduate of college, and a freshman in college. Two defensemen, just sharing a moment of joy. It’s the greatest Sports Illustrated cover of all time because you don’t need a headline. You need to see, Sports Illustrated, the U.S. flag and us, and you know what happened.”
“Sports Illustrated has always been the sports magazine, and we had two covers," defenseman Ken Morrow said. "The famous one with the picture of the team and the other one with the gold medals.” The team was named the 1980 Sportsmen of the Year and also graced the cover of the December 22, 1980, issue.
“It’s one more thing I can add to the list of things I was able to do,” Morrow said. “I can say I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.”
Morrow added that, after 35 years, he’s still amazed by how many people send him the famous cover and ask for him to sign it.