The United States has always found great success at the Winter Olympics.
They are the only nation to have won at least one gold medal at every Games.
LAKE PLACID, NY - FEB 22: Team USA celebrates their 4-3 victory over the Soviet Union in the semi-final Men's Ice Hockey event at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York on February 22, 1980. The game was dubbed 'the Miracle on Ice'. The USA went on to win the gold medal by defeating Finland 4-2 in the gold medal game. (Photo by Steve Powell /Getty Images)
When the US hosted the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, speed skater Jack Shea made history. He became the first athlete to win two gold medals in one Olympics (500-metre and 1500-metre). Shea was also a Lake Placid native and patriarch of a family that produced three generations of Olympians.
US-American speed skater and Olympic gold medalist in the 500 and 1500 meters at the Olympic Games in 1932 in Lake Placid - John Jack Shea (1910-2002). 1932. Photograph. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Jimmy Shea became the first American to win gold in men's skeleton. He held up his grandfather’s picture during his celebration at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
PARK CITY, UNITED STATES: US Jim Shea celebrates his gold medal on the finish line during the men's skeleton event for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games at the Utah Olympic Park, 20 February 2002, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Dick Button transformed the sport of figure skating in 1948. Not only was he the first American to win gold, he also flawlessly executed the double axel. He went on to win his second gold in 1952, after landing a triple loop during his routine.
6th February 1948: American figure skater Dick Button makes a sensational leap to win the gold medal in the Men's Singles Figure Skating Championships during the Olympic Games in St Moritz. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
One of the most dominant Olympic performances ever came courtesy of speed skater Eric Heiden. During the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, he became the first athlete to win five individual gold medals and set records in the 500-metre, 1000-metre, 1500-metre and 5000-metre. Of all the winter sports, the US Olympic team has won the most medals in speed skating.
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 13: Speed Skating: 1980 Winter Olympics, USA Eric Heiden in action during competition, Lake Placid (Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
Women’s ice hockey debuted at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. The US won gold after beating rival Canada in the final and finished the tournament outscoring their opponents 36 to eight.
NAGANO - FEBRUARY 17: Cammi Granato #21 of Team USA celebrates with the American Flag after the women's gold medal match against Team Canada at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics on February 17, 1998 at the Big Hat Arena in Nagano, Japan. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)
The most memorable moment for many American sports fans came in 1980. The US men’s ice hockey team upset the powerhouse favourites from the Soviet Union, 4-3.
The winning goal was scored by Mike Eruzione at the 10-minute mark of the third period. The game has since been dubbed the Miracle on Ice, after broadcaster Al Michaels asked the now famous question, “Do you believe in miracles?”
Hockey: 1980 Winter Olympics: Team USA Mike Eruzione (21) victorious with Bill Baker (6) after scoring goal to take 4-3 lead in third period vs USSR at Olympic Fieldhouse in the Olympic Center. Miracle on Ice. (Photo by Neil Leifer /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
About Sandra Prusina
Sandra is a sports journalist based out of Calgary, Canada. She's covered three Olympic Games, as well as other sporting events across Canada.
You can follow her on Twitter at @sprusina
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