Former ‘Miracle On Ice’ Hockey Star is Suspected of Having CTE


In the 1980 Winter Olympics, the infamous ‘Miracle On Ice’ occurred, and the United States hockey team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had won the previous four gold medals hence making the U.S.’s victory a ‘miracle’ and they had won 4-3. The U.S. ended up beating Finland in the gold medal game. 

One of the key players on this U.S. team was Mark Pavelich, who went on to play in the NHL for the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, and San Jose Sharks. Just recently, on Aug. 15, Pavelich was arrested for attacking his neighbor who he’d been fishing with and has been awaiting trial. On Oct. 28, in a hearing, the case was suspended because of a psychological report was done on Pavelich. The report describes how he doesn’t understand the proceedings and has developed mental illness. Pavelich’s sister, Jean Gevik, believes that this mental illness was developed from the concussions that he had when playing in the NHL, and she has noticed that his behavior has changed. Gevik and the rest of her family believes that the concussions have caused CTE, thus causing Mike’s psychological changes. She noticed that he was previously a very kind person and is now changed. The judge in Pavelich’s hearing, Michael Cuzzo, issued that his bail of $250,000 be doubled because of his mental state. The judge has advised that Pavelich should seek treatment and advised the county to arrange civil commitment.



Boren, C. (2019, October 29). ‘Miracle on Ice’ forward found unfit to stand trial; family suspects CTE. Retrieved December 10, 2019, from