Relive the Miracle

Jan. 20-26, 2005
Relive the Miracle
By Eileen Jevis/ SUN staff writer
Winning Goaltender for the U.S. Hockey Team to Speak at St. Peter’s

UTICA –– Jim Craig, member of the winning 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, will be the keynote speaker at the second annual St. Peter’s School benefit dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 2. The dinner will take place at the Harts Hill Inn in Whitesboro beginning at 6 p.m. Craig was the goaltender for the U.S. hockey team in 1980 in Lake Placid, N.Y. His 39 saves led the U.S. team to a shocking 4-3 upset victory over the heavily favored Soviet Union. After his team captured the gold with a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Finland, many remember Craig, draped in the American flag, looking up into the stands, asking, “Where is my father?”

While he experienced that single shining moment in history, Craig’s life was also filled with disappointments and sadness. His mother, Margaret, who was a driving force in his life, died of cancer in 1977. Six days after winning the gold medal, Craig signed with the Atlanta Flames of the NHL. Due to a host of injuries, ulcers and media pressure, his career in the NHL spanned a total of only 30 games with Atlanta, the Boston Bruins, and the Minneapolis North Stars. Craig left professional hockey in 1984. Today, Craig lives in his hometown of North Easton, Mass. and is a successful businessman and consultant.

Judith Hauck, principal of St. Peter’s School, said that when they searched for a presenter for the second school benefit, they were looking for someone with name recognition. February is the 25th anniversary of that legendary Olympic game and Hauck felt that Craig was just the person they needed to make the benefit successful. “We chose Jim as our keynote speaker because of all he went through,” said Hauck. “He was going through a difficult time in his personal life. His mother had recently died. His message is one of overcoming difficulties and his own personal crises to be successful in life. We try to instill that message in our children –– one of working hard toward a goal and no matter what the odds, you can use your determination to achieve that goal.”

In recalling the magnitude of Team USA’s accomplishments at the 1980 Winter Olympics, Jim stated at the time, “We were just a bunch of talented, dedicated wonderful guys who believed in one goal, and stuck all of our personal ambitions away to achieve it. If that’s a miracle, I believe in that.” “He will be a good role model for our students,” said Hauck. “In addition to speaking at the benefit dinner, he will be coming to the school to meet with the students. Our children will get to hear his message first hand.”

The money raised at the benefit will be used to help the school with its daily operational expenses. “It will help us make ends meet,” said Hauck. “With the technology program that was started this year, this benefit will certainly helpful.”

To obtain additional information or to purchase tickets to the event, call the school at (315) 724-4708.

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