Kurt Russell's Miracle speech is what you need to pass your exam

Adam Danks uses the power of sport and the power of film to give you some advice for your exams

Adam Danks
20th May 2018
The famous match took place at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The film is Miracle. Miracle is a picture, which chronicles the real life events leading up to the now infamous sporting event known as The Miracle On Ice. This heated showdown would be contested between the historically dominant Soviet Union team and the underdog Team U.S.A, in the game of Ice Hockey. In the film, Kurt Russell portrays Herb Brooks, the U.S.A’s father-like head coach who in reality would go on to mastermind a triumphant victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. All of this was drenched in West vs. East global politics and the final match result is understood to be a metaphor for the ‘American spirit’.

In the scene before Team U.S.A. collectively slow motion walk into the arena, Reservoir Dogs style, an eerie silence deafens the locker room. The silence is filled with dread, nerves, tension and focus. The atmosphere is not unlike the one, which typically hovers over students that are waiting outside of the exam hall, mentally prepping for the next two hours. The reality is, amongst your confused, anxious disposition, all you really needed was Kurt Russell’s silky baritone for exam motivation. So, forget about studying and let the wise words of the greatest actor of all time, lead you to the field of dreams.

“One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine… but not this game. Not tonight”

One scheduled exam. If you were to take said exam, ten times, Kurt suggests that you would certainly fail nine times. Given the 1/10 odds of your exam success, it would be wise to just stop reading this now and to go study.

Yet, for all my coasters out there, we’ve stuck by the saying, “80% of success is just showing up”. Plus Kurt’s 10% success hypothesis, that’s like, what… a 90% chance of success. Against his 90% chance of failure… So that’s a 0% chance of passing? Hm. I actually should go and start studying for that Number Systems test.

“Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them"

Skating here is a metaphor for exam taking. Tonight we exam take with them. ‘Them’ to Kurt Russell is the Soviet Union. To exam takers, ‘Them’, is the people who refined the curriculum, the education board or anyone who questioned your collegiate career thus far. And whilst they may have been correct to do so, and in doing so, laid down some cold hard truths about your questionable life choices thus far, your exam is opportunity for revenge. And there’s nothing like revenge to get back at people, then again, I don’t know, vengeance is pretty good.

"And we shut them down, because we can”

I like this line. I suggest to those who read this, that when you’ve finished your exam, you carefully place your pen down, fold your exam paper, slowly stand, then furiously slam your fist down on the table and yell this exact line, with no context for others. I believe the benefits of doing so will outweigh the likely scenario of being silently escorted off the premises.

“Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world”

You are not a hockey team. A hockey team consists of 5 players, each with different roles that function to serve a collective unit whose overall purpose is to outscore its opponent. But you are the greatest individual exam taker that’s ever existed. Prove me wrong. Actually, don’t.

“You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight”

You were born to be [insert course here]. Honestly, unless you’re studying something cool like a language degree, this could read pretty dire. But you need the motivation, so lets just stick with the hockey metaphor thing, at this point it just feels right.

“This is your time. Their time is done. It's over Screw 'em. This is your time. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have.”

Kurt suggests here that his personal health is deteriorating because of the Soviets universally acclaimed skillset. He’s become sick and tired, hopefully nothing too serious, but stress can affect physical endurance. Maybe he’s pulled his hamstring because of it. For your exam, you should stretch before, in the middle and at the end. Bring a fitness DVD is you can and maybe some dumbbells. And what’s the rule on bringing life coaches to the hall? Probably frowned upon. Anyway, try and use the scheduled time to get a workout in somewhere.

"Now go out there and take it”

Kurt means the championship trophy. But for exam takers, I think this means you can take the table and chair you’re assigned to after the test, they’re complimentary.

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