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Mark Pavelich

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMark Thomas•Pavelich
Used nameMark•Pavelich
Born28 February 1958 in Eveleth, Minnesota (USA)
Died4 March 2021 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota (USA)
Measurements170 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsMinnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Duluth (USA)
NOC United States


A teammate of John Harrington at Minnesota-Duluth, Mark Pavelich was not drafted by the NHL but hoped his Olympic experience would get him a shot at the bigs. After the Olympics he went to Lugano, Switzerland, and played for a year in the European leagues. In 1981 he was given his chance when he signed with the New York Rangers, and he did not disappoint them, scoring 76 points in 1981-82. In his next season he set an NHL record for most goals in one game (five) by an American-born player. Pavelich played for six years in the NHL, five with the Rangers, and in 1986-87 with the Minnesota North Stars. He then played in Europe for a few years and returned to the NHL in 1992 to play two games with the San José Sharks.

Pavelich became known as the most reclusive member of the Miracle on Ice team, rarely appearing at functions involving the team members. Later in life, he ran into problems with the law but was found to have a mental illness and was not competent to stand trial. He was determined to have post-traumatic stress disorder and possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), presumably related to concussions and head trauma during his hockey career. Pavelich was committed to a treatment center, and later died in one of them.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1980 Winter Olympics Ice Hockey (Ice Hockey) USA Mark Pavelich
Ice Hockey, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes