Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/29/11 at 01:10 PM ET
from Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star,
Three decades after being the final player selected for the historic Miracle on Ice team at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, Mark Wells made headlines again last year when the gold medal he won was auctioned off for more than $300,000.
Wells was a little guy who fought tooth and nail for the last roster spot on that ultimate underdog squad that defied all the odds in upending the powerhouse Soviet Union, the forward given the daunting task of shutting down the vaunted Valeri Kharlamov and someone who had the audacity to spit at the feet of U.S. coach Herb Brooks.
To know how hard he battled for his place in history, one can only imagine the kind of pain and desperation he must have experienced in selling the treasured gold medal he’d long kept on his nightstand, many nights sleeping with it.
The truth is Wells didn’t benefit from that windfall from last year’s sale. He’d sold the medal for $40,000 privately 15 years before to stave off financial ruin from mounting medical bills from a potentially fatal degenerative spinal disease diagnosed in 1989.
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