Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cypress silver medalist dead

Jeret "Speedy" Peterson died of suicide on July 25 in Lambs Canyon, Utah, just three days after being arrested for allegedly drinking and driving. Peterson was born in 1981 in Boise, Idaho.

A report by KTVB said Peterson called police before the incident and told them where they could eventually find his body.

Peterson won silver in freestyle skiing's aerials competition at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver on Feb. 25, 2010. Vancouver was Peterson's third Olympics. He almost never made it there after a battle with depression, drugs and drink.

On Feb. 24, 2006, four years and one day before his silver on Cypress, Peterson was sent home from the Turin Olympics after being involved in a drunken fight with his best friend in front of Italian police.

Here's what he had to say after earning second spot on the podium at the Vancouver Games:

On performing his signature move, the Hurricane, to take the silver:
"I'm ecstatic. I've had trouble landing it this year. This is the best day of my life. I can't tell you - to finally land the Hurricane in competition, especially in the Olympics. I'm not going to pick it apart."

On how much courage it took to get back to the Olympics after personal problems:
"I don't know if it takes any courage. It's knowing that there's a light at the end of the tunnel and you just have to keep trying different ways to find the light."
"I can't talk about it. It's been that bad. I'm lucky to be here."

UPDATE: More about Peterson's final days and how, no matter how much he tried, he could not overcome a series of ugly, disturbing incidents since his childhood in this story. See the Associated Press video report here.

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