|The son of legendary University of Wisconsin coach "Badger" Bob Johnson (who also coached in the NHL with Calgary and Pittsburgh), Mark Johnson was the American team's Most Valuable Player and the leading scorer at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Johnson had five goals and six assists for 11 points for the "Miracle on Ice" gold medal winners, including two goals in the 4-3 victory over the Soviet Union. American coach Herb Brooks called Johnson "the man who makes us go" and his teammates nicknamed him "Magic" like the basketball star.
Johnson signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after the Olympics and went on to play 11 NHL seasons with Pittsburgh, Hartford, St. Louis and New Jersey. He would also represent the United States again at the World Championships in 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1990. When his NHL career ended after the 1989-90 season, Johnson spent a year playing with Milano in Italy.
Prior to his Olympic experience, Johnson had played for the U.S. at the World Championships in 1978 and 1979 while playing for his father at the University of Wisconsin. When Johnson was a high school senior in 1976, his father had added him to the roster of Team USA for its pre-Olympic tour. Though he held his own with the older players, Bob Johnson elected to keep his son out of the Olympics because he felt there would be too much pressure on him.