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Photo: Steve Powell/Getty Images

40 years ago today, the U.S. men's hockey team beat Finland 4-2 to clinch gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Backdrop: Two days earlier, the U.S. upset the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice," but that didn't guarantee a medal. In fact, if the U.S. had lost to Finland badly enough and Sweden tied the Soviets, the U.S. would have finished fourth.

The big picture: The Finland game has become a footnote in history, but if the Americans had lost that evening and not won gold, the "Miracle on Ice" wouldn't have become nearly as iconic.

Fun fact ... The famous U.S.-Soviet Union game was played at 5pm ET and shown on tape delay three hours later, so the only people in the U.S. who watched it live were the 8,500 fans in the stands.

Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Go deeper: Hockey's "middle class" hit hardest by NHL salary caps

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

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