Jeret Peterson: Alpine Skiing-U.S. Olympic medalist commits suicide

Jeret Peterson celebrates after the men's Freestyle Skiing aerials final during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Olympic silver medalist skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson has committed suicide near Salt Lake City, days after his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, police said on Tuesday.

Peterson, 29, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday night, shortly after he had called emergency dispatch to say he was going to kill himself, said Lieutenant Justin Hoyal, a spokesman for Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake.

He was a silver medalist in the men’s freestyle aerials competition at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Peterson’s body was found beside his vehicle on a road just outside Salt Lake City, Hoyal said. Police said he left a suicide note, but they declined to reveal the contents of the message.

Peterson’s death on Monday came three days after the Olympic athlete was arrested in Idaho on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving. He was released from the Blaine County Jail in Idaho after posting $500 bail.

He had been arrested after speeding in a Dodge Dakota pickup through Hailey on Friday, in south-central Idaho, at an estimated 70 miles per hour — over the local speed limit of 25 mph — police said.

He failed three field sobriety tests, including a walk and turn and a one-leg stand, according to a police report.

Peterson pleaded not guilty in paperwork filed by his attorney to the charge of driving under the influence and the speeding citation.

Originally from Boise, Idaho, he most recently lived in the ski haven of Park City, Utah. He had not planned on competing during the 2012 season and was a full-time business student at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, according to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Peterson gained the nickname “Speedy” because coaches thought he resembled the cartoon character “Speed Racer” when wearing his helmet, the association said.

He invented his signature jump the “Hurricane”, a five-twist and three-flip maneuver that landed him the silver medal in Vancouver.

“I know Speedy’s friends and family were incredibly proud of his effort in Vancouver, and his achievements were an inspiration to people all over the world,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement.

“The personal challenges Speedy has battled are familiar to all of us, and on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee, I’d like to offer my sympathy to Speedy’s family and friends,” Blackmun said.

Peterson’s behavior at times got him in trouble with the law and sports officials. In 2006, he was sent home from Italy’s Turin Winter Olympics after a fight, according to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Peterson was found guilty in 2008 of public urination in Boise and in 2006 he pleaded guilty to theft by receiving stolen property, according to Idaho court records.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.