Viktor Petrenko was one of the best male singles skaters of the World in the early 1990s, rising to prominence in 1987 with a bronze at the European Championships. In 1988 Petrenko won bronzes at the Olympic Winter Games, and the World and European Championships. In 1990 Petrenko won his first major international title by winning the European Championships and repeated that feat in 1991 and 1994. In 1992 Petrenko won his only World title, also winning silvers at the 1990 and 1991 World Championships and 1992 European Championships. In 1991 Petrenko won his only Soviet title and in 1993, his only Ukrainian title. Petrenko last competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics, where he finished in a somewhat disappointing fourth place.
After the 1994 Winter Olympics, Petrenko started to work as a figure skating coach at the International Skating Center of Connecticut. In March 2001, he organized the Victory for Kids ice show in order to raise public awareness and funds for the thousands of children still being affected by elevated radiation levels from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that had occurred in his homeland in 1986. Over $100,000 was raised and was used to open the Viktor Petrenko Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Odessa. Petrenko also toured as a performing skater with Champions on Ice for a record 20 seasons. He is an ISU technical specialist for Ukraine and was the assistant technical specialist for the men’s event at the 2006 Winter Olympics. In June 2008, Petrenko was elected to the presidium of the Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation. His younger brother Vladimir was also a figure skater, who was World Junior champion in 1986 (Viktor Petrenko won in 1984) and won bronze at the 1989 Winter Universiade.