The 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games’ Musical Legacy


Opening ceremony of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics (courtesy Lake Placid Olympic Museum)The XIII Olympic Winter Games were held in Lake Placid, Essex County, NY from February 13, 1980 to February 24, 1980. Among the most remembered parts of the 1980 Winter Olympics were the Miracle on Ice, in which the U.S. hockey team upset the Soviet Union’s team, and speed-skater Eric Heiden’s five gold medals. Less remembered is the event’s musical legacy.

The games also featured a theme song, in the form of Rochester Jazz legend Chuck Mangione’s “Give it All You Got,” a tune released a week before the games, that would chart as high as #1 on the Adult Contemporary, #18 on the Billboard 100 and #32 on the R&B chart, and recently named by Billboard as the #1 Olympics theme song of all time.

In addition to Mangione, the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam contributed to the Lake Placid Winter Olympics as well. There was a 600-member Olympic chorus and orchestra, a 50 member wind ensemble and three Olympic bands of 50 members each.

You can read more about the musical legacy of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics at our arts and culture reporting partner NYS Music.

NYS Music is New York State’s Music News Source, offering daily music reviews, news, interviews, video, exclusive premieres and the latest on events throughout New York State and surrounding areas. Subscribe to their newsletter here.

Photo: Opening ceremony of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics (courtesy Lake Placid Olympic Museum).

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