As the calendar prepares to crash the net for the 40th anniversary of the Greatest Sports Story of the 20th Century, America’s 1980 Olympic hockey victory over the Big Red Russian Machine, a sad and tragic story is playing out for one of Team USA’s star players.
Mark Pavelich, the member of the Gold Medal squad who set up the game winning goal in the astonishing victory over the Russians, is facing “involuntary commitment” as a result of a violent attack on a neighbor near his secluded cabin homestead in the deep north woods of Minnesota’s Lake Superior Arrowhead country.
Miracle on Ice hockey star Mark Pavelich was determined to be incompetent to stand trial Monday on charges related to an August assault of his neighbor. Pavelich’s pending trial was suspended by Judge Michael Cuzzo in District Court in Grand Marais.
“He lacks the ability to rationally consult with counsel, is incapable of understanding the proceedings, and is incapable of participating in the defense due to mental illness or deficiency,” Cuzzo’s order said.
The judge described Pavelich as a “significant risk to harm others,” and ordered Pavelich remain in custody until placed in supervised psychiatric care. The judge initiated civil commitment proceedings at the hearing. Neither the prosecution nor the defense objected to the ruling.
The best thing you can do is cue up the DVD or streamed video of the movie “Miracle” and when the final buzzer sounds shed a tear or two for Pavs (and Herbie too).
You’ll be glad you did…