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See "Miracle on Ice" Goalie Jim Craig Now, 42 Years After Olympics Glory

The hockey player has since moved on to a very different career.

One of the most memorable moments in American Olympic history came in 1980, when the U.S. men's ice hockey team beat the Soviet Union in a shocking upset. The Soviet team had won five out of six of the past gold medals. The game, which was played when the Olympics were held in Lake Placid, was so meaningful that it got its own name: the "Miracle on Ice." Winning meant that the U.S. went on to compete against Finland, and the team triumphed there and earned Olympic gold. During the games, the U.S. goalie was Jim Craig, who is known as the MVP of the "Miracle on Ice" for his 36 saves on 39 shots from the Soviet Union team.

These days, Craig takes the lessons he learned and the mindset he had as an Olympian and applies them as advice for businesses and individuals as a consultant and motivational speaker. Read on to learn more about Craig's life today at 64, and to see what he's had to say about being part of sports history.

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Jim Craig continued on to a professional hockey career.

Jim Craig playing during the Miracle on Ice game in 1980
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

When Craig won Olympic gold, he was only 22 years old and had played hockey for Boston University. After the Olympics, he turned pro and played for three different NHL teams and one minor league team over four years. He also continued being part of national team tournaments, but Craig did not find much success at the pro level and retired from hockey in 1984.

Now, he's a motivational speaker.

Jim Craig at the U.S. Olympic Committee's Team USA Club Event to celebrate the 2014 Winter Olympic Games
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images for the USOC

Today, Craig is a motivational speaker and owns the company Gold Medal Strategies, "a boutique motivational speaking and relationship-based consulting company focused on a tailored approach to organizational and team development." The company provides consulting and strategy building to corporations and businesses. Craig can also be hired for motivational talks.

Sharing some of his advice, Craig told the New England Hockey Journal in 2018, "The first thing you have to do is to tell people what your dreams are so that they can help you. You have to take advantage of opportunities. You are what you see in life. You have to envision being successful. I always tell people, failing is OK. Failure isn't fatal, but being afraid to fail is."

And he's written two books.

Craig has also written books about business strategy that relate to his time as a hockey player. Gold Medal Strategies – Business Lessons from America's Miracle Team was published in 2010, and We Win! Lessons on Life, Business, & Building Your Own Miracle Team was published in 2019.

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Craig is now a grandfather.

Craig married his wife, Sharlene Craig, in 1988. They have two children and three grandchildren. Craig often shares about his family on social media.

In an Instagram post in Sept. 2021, he shared photos of himself, Sharlene, and two of their granddaughters, writing, "35 years ago today we said 'I do'. 35 years of endless blessings, including our two beautiful kids, their spouses, and our 3 incredible granddaughters. I'm so grateful you agreed to do life with me. Happy anniversary to my beautiful wife, Charlie."

The 1980 win still means a lot to him.

Jim Craig being interviewed by the NHL Network in 2020
NHL Network / YouTube

One of the most famous moments from the "Miracle on Ice" was when Craig looked up to the stands after the game and said, "Where's my father?" Speaking to NHL Network in 2020, Craig explained that he was always close with his father and their bond meant a lot to him at that time in particular, because his mother had recently died.

"When I saw my dad, I always gave him a hug and a kiss, didn't matter who I was in front of, and I don't think people felt that comfortable," he said. "So, you know, now, all of a sudden you get letters … the father got a better relationship going with his son, the son had a better relationship with the father. That part makes me really happy."

Craig also explained to the New England Hockey Journal how it felt when he received his gold medal: "At that moment, I saw everything and everyone who had helped me get to that moment where I was. It was a wonderful reel of emotion that just brought me from childhood to present. It was quite exciting."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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