Obie O'Brien

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“Do you believe in miracles?”

The above sentence is synonymous with one of the greatest moments in the history of sports. It occurred in 1980 at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. The United States national hockey team, made up mostly of amateur players, defeated the Soviet Union national team, which had won six gold medals in recent Olympic games. When the final seconds ticked off the clock and the US team was about to raise their hands in victory against Russia, broadcaster Al Michaels, with more energy and euphoria in his voice than ever before, screamed into the microphone, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

 

Sports Illustrated named it the top sports moment of the twentieth century; a feature film starring Kurt Russell commemorated it. Many people who watched it on TV called it one of the most memorable moments of their lives. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be sitting in that stadium during that game? Now imagine what it must have been like to be sitting a dozen feet away from the action, and not just as a spectator, but as the official scorer to the game. Well, Obie O’Brien knows what it felt like. And, much like all of us during almost any moment of our lives, if for some reason he had been called on, he was ready to do magic…just in case.

It is almost impossible to wrap your head around the life of Obie O’Brien. The man has lived through so many iconic moments in all areas (sports, personal, magic) that it is hard to believe. He owns several college hockey records, both as a player and as a coach. He travels the world promoting and helping to elevate the art of magic. Oh, and one more tiny thing, he is the driving force behind one of the most prestigious and respected magic conventions ever, Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic. To understand Obie, you need to understand how different areas of his life have come together to make him who he is today. And perhaps understanding Obie will give insight into a question that hundreds of magicians all over the world are nervous as hell to hear the answer. But we will get to that later.

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