Olympic silver medalist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson was found dead in a remote canyon in Utah in what police are calling a suicide.One of the world's most risk-taking and innovative freestyle skiers, the creator of the one-of-a-kind "Hurricane" called 911 before shooting himself, police said. The 29-year-old Peterson had been cited for drunken driving Friday in Hailey, Idaho, and had pleaded not guilty.
Officers found Peterson late Monday night between Salt Lake City and Park City in Lambs Canyon. Police said a suicide note was found near Peterson's car; they declined to reveal what it said.
"Regardless of the amazing stuff he did skiing, it was the stuff he did for other people that was incredible to me," said Peterson's longtime coach and friend, Matt Christensen. "A lot of people saw his story and said he must be a wild jackass and a cowboy. He was just the opposite."
He was one of the most colorful of athletes, and he wore his heart on his sleeve — never more than on Feb. 25, 2010, when he walked off the mountain with tears streaming down his face after taking the Olympic silver medal.
"I know that a lot of people go through a lot of things in their life, and I just want them to realize they can overcome anything," Peterson said that night. "There's light at the end of the tunnel and mine was silver and I love it."
It was a poignant chapter to a career that, until then, had been filled with success on the smaller stages of his fringe sport but defined in the mainstream by his moment at the Turin Olympics where, after finishing seventh, he was sent home early after a minor scuffle with a buddy in the street.
Over the next months and years, he began filling in the details of a life story replete with incredible highlights and crushing disappointments.Read more.