Monday, July 20, 2009

The 5 Best USA! USA! USA! vs. USSR/Russia Moments through history

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first Lunar Landing. I wondered what the top moments in USA/USSR history would be, and I'll be focusing on space exploration and hockey. Also, there's nothing going on in the NHL now. In no particular order, here are the ones I came up with:

Sputnik, High Earth Orbit
After World War II got the rocket era going, The USSR built one powerful enough to get into space. The USA was trying to, as well, but the Russians got there first. Sputnik is a little metal ball that broadcast a simple beeping signal that could be picked up from earth.
Advantage: USSR

Apollo 11, The Moon
The USSR may have gotten into space first, but the USA was the first country in the history of the Earth to put a person on another object in space. The importance of such an event can still be felt today, 40 years later, as noted scientists like Stephen Hawking are claiming that humans should look deeper into space colonization.

Advantage: USA! USA! USA!

1980 Olympics, Lake Placid, NY
A Picture's worth a thousand words.
Advantage: USA! USA! USA!

1960 Olympics, Squaw Valley, CA - Now, the tournament format meant that it wasn't quite as dramatic as USA vs. USSR in the semifinals as in 1980. However, the final round pitted the finalists from the first round into another round robin tournament. One could argue that Canada was a bigger threat than USSR in this case, and you'd be mostly right. USA won 5 out of 5 games to bring home the gold, and Canada lost only to USA. However, the USA beat most other teams by a wide margin, and beat both Canada and USSR by one goal.

The big part of this is that from 1956 to 1992 (if you include the unified team) the Soviet Union managed to win every gold medal in Ice Hockey except for 2 - 1960 and 1980. The 1980 victory has overshadowed the 1960 victory, thanks to time and a couple movies made about the 1980 team.
Advantage: USA! USA! USA!

Number 5 is up to audience participation. Since I was about 7 when the Soviet Union fell, I might be missing something here. So: What's your favorite Cold War moment?

p.s. wouldn't feel right ending a post without


TravBot said...

furcifer said...

1972 Summit Series Canada over USSR.

Cornelius Hardenbergh said...

I'd love to include that, Furcifer, but Canada isn't USA.

Thanks for the Canadarm, though.