Petkevich Retires From Rink With 4th Place World Finish

John Misha Petkevich, the 1971 U.S. and North American Men's Figure Skating champion and a fifth-place finisher at the Olympics, has announced his retirement from the sport in order to return to Harvard next fall for his senior year, and possible post-graduate career in medicine.

Petkevich who took a full year leave of absence to prepare for last month's Olympic Games in Sapporo made the announcement last Saturday on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" after he had finished his amateur skating career with a superb free-skating performance at the World Championships in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Considered by many experts to be one of the premier free-skating performers in the world. Petkevich finished fourth in the annual event barely missing third place. Fourth at the end of the compulsory school figures which count for half of the competition. Petkevich electrified the Canadian crowd with an almost flawless routine. His marks, all or better, were not enough to give him third.

After the completion of his routine, he was interviewed by former Olympic figure skating gold medalist Dick Button, the superb color commentator for ABC sports.

Petkevich out of breath from his five minutes of skating revealed to Buttons that he was leaving the skating world and possibly Lucrative professional career, to continue his education and hopefully go to med school a career for which for some unknown reason top skaters have a penchant

Petkevich said that he wanted to do well at this, his final world championship. Although obviously disappointed that he had not gained a medal, something he had never done in international competition, his free skating, his choreography in perfect harmony with the Spanish flamenco music accompaniment, brought a broad smile to his face with the posting of the judge's marks.