“Miracle on Ice” goalie talks about heart health with stop in Iowa

News, Sports

December 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One of the heroes of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team was in Iowa this past week. Jim Craig was the goalie on the gold medal winning team from Lake Placid, but his visit to Sioux City had nothing to do with hockey. Craig spoke to physicians and medical staff at St. Luke’s Unity Point Health Center about a heredity heart illness that claimed his father’s life — an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

“They call this the silent killer because it’s asystematic,” Craig said. “The things that happened with my father were really preventable. He had a massive heart attack at 48 years old, he had high blood pressure, and he had smoked. So, he had all the criteria for somebody to be screened. And yet, when he went in to the hospital, they thought it was kidney stones.” Craig said he’s raising awareness of the ailment that a medical test can now detect, and save a person’s life.

It’s a minimally invasive procedure,” Craig said. “It’s really simple. You’re in and out in a day and a half. If we can get people to be aware they’re likely to get it, if we can get them aware to be screened, and then they go in and have the surgery…it’s a piece of cake.” Craig has seven brothers and sisters and said one brother has been diagnosed with a similar aneurysm, but has received successful treatment. Craig said he keeps in touch with several of his former hockey teammates — many are now motivational speakers stemming from their Olympic experience.

(Radio Iowa)