LISTEN: Silver Medalist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson Being Remembered During Beijing Olympics
(Photo courtesy of RIP Jaret Peterson Facebook)
BOISE, Ida – Jeret Peterson is an icon in the freestyle skiing community. Unfortunately, his life was cut short at the age of 29 after being found dead by suicide in Lambs Canyon between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah on July 25, 2011. A self-inflicted gunshot wound was determined to be the cause of death.
Peterson struggled with and mental health issues and depression. But, by the accounts of many, he was also a dynamic and vibrant human being with drive and talent.
Gretchen Anderson who represented Jeret’s home ski hill Bogus Basin in Boise, Idaho for years had many chances to interact with him. She says he was the kind of person who lit up a room. Gretchen says he never forgot anyone’s name and had a way of making people feel special.
On the slopes, he really shined. Jeret got his nick-name “Speedy” by slapping on a bicycle helmet as a kid and literally rushing to the chair-lift over and over to get as many runs in as possible. He made it all the way to the U.S. Ski Team and competed in 3 Olympic games, winning a silver medal in Salt Lake City in 2010. He is credited for inventing “The Hurricane” – a spectacular aerial trick that involved 5 spins and 3 somersaults.
Off the mountain, Jeret battled a variety of personal problems and eventually took his own life. But, Gretchen says as other Olympic athletes compete in China, the memory of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson lives on.
Gretchen spoke to KXL’s Brett Reckamp ahead of the Olympic Games about what she knew and remembered about Jeret: