Why is Mark Pavelich selling his 'Miracle on Ice' gold medal?

Beginning next week, a unique piece of sports memorabilia will hit the auction block. Mark Pavelich, a forward on the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. hockey team, is selling his gold medal via Heritage Auctions.

The auction will run through mid-May and likely sell for a couple hundred thousand dollars, if the price of the only other “Miracle” gold medal to be sold is any indication.

In 2010, the gold medal of defenseman Mark Wells was sold through Heritage Auctions for $310,700. He had previously sold it to a private collector. Now, his teammate on that legendary hockey team is doing the same with family reasons in mind.

“I’m doing a lot for my daughter here,” Pavelich said by phone on Wednesday. “I want her to get a step forward in life. That’s probably the biggest reason.”

It’s not the first time Pavelich is selling something from those memorable Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. He gave the jerseys he wore during that tournament to his nephews. One sold the jersey from the “Miracle” game against the Soviet Union at auction last year for over $130,000.

Pavelich said he has some other items from his hockey career that he may auction off in the future, but ones from his NHL days he said he’s going to keep. “I don’t think I’ll part with any Rangers stuff.”

Two years ago, Pavelich’s “Miracle” teammate, Ken Morrow sold his jersey from Soviet Union game for over $104,000 as part of planning for his family’s future. The decision was an easy one in a way. He said that if he wasn’t taking the jersey out for a charity or school function, it was sitting on a hanger in his closet.

Pavelich’s decision to part with the medal was a similar one.

“The only thing is you’re limited to what you can do with these things,” he said. “You keep it in a vault in the bank somewhere and you take it out once in a while and you look at it and you put it back in. You can’t put them in a house because it could burn or get stolen and it’s just gone and useless. It’s just an impractical thing.

“You can’t say that you never did win a medal just because you don’t have it anymore. You always can say that you got it.”

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Sean Leahy

is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!