Thirty-five years later, America pulled off another stunning upset this week.
But this victory involved integers, not ice skates, and was waged not by hulking Cold Warriors but by teens.
Team America has finally retaken the International Mathematical Olympiad crown. The victory this week was a historic comeback.
If winning a youth math competition seems less important than vanquishing the Soviets back in 1980, consider this: the last time America won the IMO was 1994. Back then, Bill Clinton was president and Ace of Base was top of the pop charts.