Obit of the Day: Member of the “Miracle on Ice”
When the United States Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Lake Placid Games - perhaps the greatest upset in all of sports history - Bob Suter was on the ice. Mr. Suter and his teammates would eventually win the gold medal, becoming national sports icons in the process.
On September 9, 2014, Bob Suter died at the age of 57. He was the first player from the “Miracle” team to pass away. (Coach Herb Brooks was killed in a car accident in 2003.)
Prior to playing in the Olympics, Mr. Suter attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, helping to lead the Badgers hockey team to the 1977 NCAA championship. After the season, he was drafted 120nd overall by the L.A. Kings but never played for the team.
Following Lake Placid, Mr. Suter signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars) and spent some time in minor league hockey but never played in the NHL. He would remain connected to the game for the rest of his career.
Active in Madison, he opened a sporting goods store (see above) that outfitted children in the area for years. He was also an advocate for youth hockey and remained active in the city’s hockey community, focusing on coaching.
The brother of NHL Hall of Famer, Gary Suter, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2002 and father of NHL All-Star Ryan Suter, who won silver in 2010, Mr. Suter never remained far from the game he loved. For the past two seasons, while Ryan played for the Minnesota Wild, Mr. Suter worked as a scout for the team.
For all the fame the 1980 Olympic team earned, Mr. Suter remained humble about his achievements. Son Ryan knew that his dad had won an Olympic medal - he often brought it school to show classmates - but he did not know the dramatic history and significance until he watched an HBO special in high school.
Sources: Minneapolis Star Tribune and Madison State Journal
(Image of Bob Suter in November 1980 standing in front of his sporting goods store in Madison, Wisconsin. Image is courtesy of Nick Zaccardi via his twitter account, @nzaccardi)