By Joseph T. O’Connor Explore Big Sky Senior Editor

I was born on Feb. 22, 1980, a day hockey fans will never forget.

That day, the U.S. national hockey team beat the Soviet Union to win Olympic gold in Lake Placid, N.Y. The game was dubbed, “The Miracle on Ice.” It was a good day, and maybe one that’s stuck with me.

I used to sit with my parents every four years in the winter, watching hometown heroes put their dreams on the line and give ‘er in the Winter Olympic Games.

Memories stream back through my mind each Olympics: of Michelle Kwan, Oksana Baiul, Nancy Kerrigan and Elvis Stojko stealing the figure skating limelight in Lillehammer; of skier Tommy Moe winning and losing in the gates; of Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair streaking around the speed-skating track; of Hermann Maier’s crash, only to come back and win two gold medals in Nagano; of Jonny Moseley’s 360 mute grab for gold.

In the end, for me, it’s all about the stories.

There are a couple of Olympic Games stories in this issue of Explore Big Sky, the newspaper. In one, pictured on the cover, Gary and Angelica di Silvestri will travel to Sochi, Russia to represent the small island nation of Dominica – they did some high-altitude training at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky to prepare. Read the story here.

In another, here, Bozeman hometown hero and 2010 Olympian Heather McPhie aims to put the past World Cup moguls season behind her and shoot for gold in Sochi. “I’m all in,” McPhie told EBS on Jan. 21. So are we.

Watch the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 6-23, and cheer the hometown heroes.