Remembering Speedy Peterson - NBC 7 San Diego

Remembering Speedy Peterson

Jeret Peterson, skier who trained in Chula Vista, was found dead with gunshot wound and suicide note



    Remembering Speedy Peterson

    Olympic silver medalist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson has been found dead in a remote canyon in Utah. Police are calling his death a suicide.

    Peterson was a freestyle skier who patented the so-called "Hurricane" jump. He won the silver medal in the Vancouver Olympics.

    Police say he called 911 Monday night before shooting himself. His body was found in an area between park city and Salt Lake City and a suicide note was found by his side.

    Peterson spent time at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista, where he prepared for 2010 winter games in Vancouver. He called San Diego his "second home," and said he had amazing time here in the summer of 2010.

    "If I wasn't so afraid of sharks I'd get out there and surf a little more," he told NBC San Diego in 2010.

    In a 2010 interview, Peterson talked about the burden he carried after growing up with the death of several family members. He also witnessed his roommate commit suicide.

    "I grew up without a father, I had an uncle who died from aids, I had a sister who was killed by a drunk driver," he said in the interview. "Unfortunately in 2005 I had a roommate who killed himself in front of me, he shot himself in the head with a gun, and that really messed me up."

    Just a few months after his roommate's death, he said his mind wasn't quite right for the 2006 Olympics, where he was unable to land the Hurricane and missed the podium.

    NBC San Diego's Steven Luke remembers interviewing Peterson in 2010. He said Peterson had an air of confidence, and seemed to be enjoying his time in the spotlight. At the time, it was clear that Peterson was dealing with some inner demons, Luke said.

    Police say the 29 year old was cited for a DUI in Idaho on Friday. Peterson was sent home from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino after getting into a drunken brawl.

    The US Olympic committee says the entire Olympic family is saddened by his untimely passing.


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