Crowd as the Badgers take on U.S.S.R in 1978

Remembering a Miracle

USA! USA! U-Rah-Rah! U-Rah-Rah!

How can something that happened 36 years ago never get old? When it’s reliving the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team’s gripping 4–3 triumph over the seemingly invincible Soviet squad on February 22, 1980, that’s how. The “Miracle on Ice” is regarded by many as the biggest upset in American sports history. And two Badgers didn’t only have front row seats to witness this historic victory; they were part of the frontline action!

Mark Johnson ‘79

Mark Johnson 1979
  • Johnson scored two goals vs. the Soviets and led Team USA in scoring in the tournament.
  • He won the 1977 NCAA Championship as a member of the Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team.
  • Johnson is Wisconsin’s all-time leading goal scorer with 125 goals in 125 games.
  • He is currently the head coach of the UW women’s hockey program. And under his direction, Wisconsin has skated away with four NCAA titles.
  • Johnson returned to the Olympics as the head coach of 2010 Olympic women’s hockey team. USA secured the silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics.
  • Johnson is the son of legendary coach Bob Johnson. Bob coached Wisconsin to three national titles and led the United States at the 1976 Olympics

Bob Suter ‘79

Bob Suter 1977-79
  • Suter was a defenseman for the 1980 Olympic gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team.
  • He won the 1977 NCAA Championship as a member of the Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team.
  • After his playing days ended in 1982, he coached youth hockey in Madison and became part owner and director of Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, WI.
  • Suter died on September 9, 2014, of a heart attack suffered at Capitol Ice Arena. The arena has since been renamed in his honor, and is now known as “Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena.”
  • His son, Ryan, became the third former Badger in the Suter family to play in the Olympics, earning a silver medal for Team USA at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver (an uncle, Gary, also skated for Team USA).