Hockey Skates used by Phil Verchota of the U.S. Hockey Team during the 1980 Winter Olympics

Hockey Skates used by Phil Verchota of the U.S. Hockey Team during the 1980 Winter Olympics

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
These skates were worn by Phil Verchota (number 27), a member of the underdog 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that astounded the world by capturing the Gold Medal at Lake Placid, New York. While it was the win against the Finns that cinched the Gold, the defeat of the Soviet team in the semifinals — known as the "miracle on ice" — captured the hearts and imaginations of Americans during a time of cold war tensions.
The 1980 Winter Olympics, also known as the Games of the XIII Olympiad were held in Lake Placid, New York with 37 countries, 840 men and 232 women athletes participating. These Games are famous for the “Miracle on Ice” hockey team which consisted of American college hockey players competing against the more experienced and professional Russian team amongst the backdrop of the cold war. The Americans beat the Russians to move into the medal round beating Finland for the Gold but it was the game where they beat Russia which is most remembered and where announcer Al Michaels asked all American if they believed in miracles. US Speed skater Eric Heiden dominated the speed skating event winning gold in all five events, the only athlete in the Winter games to do so. The Soviet Union won the medal count with 22 with the United States coming in third with 12 medals.
Currently on loan
Object Name
ice skates, hockey
hockey skates, olympics
date made
Verchota, Phil
associated institution
U.S. Olympic Hockey Team
place made
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
nylon (overall material)
overall: 12 in x 11 3/4 in; 30.48 cm x 29.845 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Sports Illustrated
Ice Hockey
Olympic Winter Games: Lake Placid, 1980
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


"Verchota provided offensive punch from the left wing of the Mark Wells-led fourth line. Verchot logged single points in five of the seven Olympic games, with the most important being a third-period goal against Finland that pulled the U.S. into a 2-2 tie and sterred them toward gold. Verchota took a feed from Dave Christian and slapped a 15-footer past Finnish netminder Jorma Valtonen, a 33-year old veteran who had made several specatcular saves earlier in the game."

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.