Team USA: “Miracle on Ice” Star Mark Wells Has Passed Away

© B Bennett/Getty Images

Ahead of the tournament games this past weekend, Team USA announced that Mark Wells, the center of the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, passed away at age 67. The 1980 team’s remarkable journey to the gold medal, hailed as the “Miracle on Ice” was named the top sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated.

Mark Wells attended Bowling Green University without a scholarship, where he starred for several years prior to attending the 1980 Olympics. He was selected for the US team after posting 83 points (26 goals) during his final season with the university. Wells lobbied Team USA’s head coach, Herb Brooks, for the final spot on the team and got his shot. He was to defend Valeri Kharlamov, the then Soviet Union’s best player, in a tournament where the United States were the underdogs to the favored Russian team.

Wells played in all seven games at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games, scoring two goals and adding an assist, culminating in that thrilling victory against the Soviet Union. It would be followed by another win against Finland in the final match for gold.

Wells, born in St. Clair Shores, Michigan in 1957, was later inducted into the Bowling Green State University Hall of Fame in 1992. He retired from professional hockey in 1982 and returned to Michigan. Later, due to a degenerative illness discovered after an injury, Wells spent decades recovering at home and eventually had to sell his gold medal in 2010 to help cover his expenses. Against his doctor’s orders, Wells would suit up with his 1980 Team USA teammates once more, this time before the 2002 Winter Games held in Salt Lake City, Utah. He played one shift with the team and recorded a shot on goal.

“A stick salute to Mark Wells, who helped the U.S. win gold at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. The Detroit native passed away this weekend, and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. His impact on our sport will continue to be felt for generations to come.”

USA Hockey, via “X”

“It’s with profound sadness to announce the passing of Mark R. Wells. He was so much more than an Olympic hero or ‘The Commish.’ He was a friend to everyone he met. Simply a great man.”

– Luke, via Mark Wells Facebook Page

Inside the Rink extends their heartfelt condolences to the Wells family, loved ones, and friends. Rest well, Mark.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
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Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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