US Olympic medallist commits suicide

2011-07-27 09:38

Salt Lake City – Olympic freestyle skiing silver medallist Jeret “Speedy” Petersen has committed suicide, police said yesterday.

Petersen, 29, shot himself on Monday, three few days after being arrested on suspicion of speeding and drunk driving.
He was released on bail.

Police said his body was found at Lambs Canyon between Salt Lake City and Park City and that he left a suicide note.

Petersen also called emergency dispatch to announce his suicide.

Petersen won Olympic silver in the aerials event at the 2010 Games in Vancouver with his trademark “Hurricane” jump featuring three flips and five twists.

He won the aerials World Cup title in 2005.

Petersen reportedly suffered from alcohol problems and depression. He was sexually abused as a child and his sister died when she was hit by a drunk driver.

A friend of his took his life shortly before the 2006 Olympics and Petersen was sent home from those Games after a fight. He had several minor brushes with the law.

“The entire Olympic family is heartbroken to hear the news of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson’s untimely passing. 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,” said US Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun in a statement.

“The personal challenges Speedy has battled are familiar to all of us, and on behalf of the US Olympic Committee, I’d like to offer my sympathy to Speedy’s family and friends. Today is a sad day.”

US ski federation president Bill Marolt said: “Today is a sad day in our sport. Jeret “Speedy” Peterson was a great champion who will be missed and remembered as a positive, innovative force on not only his sport of freestyle aerials, but on the entire US Freestyle Ski Team family and everyone he touched.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.