Jeret Peterson

Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (December 12, 1981 – July 25, 2011[1]) was an American World Cup aerial skier from Boise, Idaho, skiing out of Bogus Basin. A three-time Olympian, he won the silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Peterson was found dead after committing suicide in Lambs Canyon, a remote canyon between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah on July 25, 2011. The cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[2]

Jeret Peterson
Jeret Speedy Peterson.jpg
Personal information
BornDecember 12, 1981[1]
Boise, Idaho
DiedJuly 25, 2011(2011-07-25) (aged 29)[1]
Lambs Canyon, Utah
CountryUnited States
SportFreestyle Skiing
Event(s)Men's aerials
Medal record

Athletic careerEdit

Through the 2006 season, Peterson had won four World Cup events in aerials, and a total of nine World Cup podiums. His best season was 2005, with three World Cup wins and three seconds. With the help of these six strong placings, he took the 2005 World Cup season title in aerials. He finished in sixth place for the 2006 season.

A member of three Olympic teams, he participated in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake (placing 9th) and the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy. In the finals of the 2006 aerial competitions, Peterson was in third place after the first round, but fell to seventh place after the second jump, when he failed to solidly land the difficult "Hurricane" maneuver, which involves five spins and three somersaults.

The following day, February 24, 2006, he was dispatched from the Games after a drunken altercation during a post-competition celebration. U.S. Olympic official Jim McCarthy said, "This type of conduct is irresponsible and will not be tolerated. Like every athlete, Jeret had an opportunity to represent himself, his sport, and his country in a positive manner. He chose to do otherwise, and because of his unacceptable actions, his Olympic experience is ending early."[3]

A month after the Olympics in Italy, Peterson won the 2006 U.S. National Championships at Killington, Vermont.

He was an alumnus of Timberline High School in Boise, and was one of the six athletes featured on the Week 6 episode of The Biggest Loser: Couples 3.

After a tumultuous four years on and off the snow following the 2006 Olympics, Peterson made a career comeback and in January 2010 was named to the U.S. Olympic freestyle team for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Entering the Olympic finals in fifth place, he successfully landed his signature "Hurricane" maneuver (5 twists, 3 flips) to win the silver medal.[4]


On July 25, 2011, Peterson was found dead in Lambs Canyon, Utah. The cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[5] Three days previously, Peterson had been arrested for driving while intoxicated.[6] He was still reeling from the suicide of a friend named Trevor Fernald, who had committed suicide in front of Peterson in 2005, also from a self-inflicted gunshot. Peterson also had problems with alcohol and depression and admitted he had his own thoughts of suicide, stemming from child sexual abuse and the death of one of his older sisters to a drunk driver, at the age of five.[7][8]

A few days after Peterson's death, Utah law enforcement released a recording of the 911 call that Peterson made just before he committed suicide. In it Peterson told the dispatcher that he was going to kill himself and that he wanted the police to come and get his body.[9]

Peterson’s death was discussed in the HBO documentary, “The Weight of Gold”.


Jeret Peterson
  • 1999 U.S. Junior National Championships – Gold – Aerials
  • 2000 World Junior Championships – Bronze – Aerials
  • 2001 World Junior Championships – Bronze – Aerials
  • 2001 Junior Freestyle Skier of the Year – by Ski Racing magazine
  • 2002 Olympic Winter Games – 9th place – Aerials
  • 2002 World Cup season – 22nd place – Aerials
  • 2003 World Championships – 6th place – Aerials
  • 2003 World Cup season – 8th place – Aerials
  • 2004 World Cup season – 16th place – Aerials
  • 2005 World Championships – 12th place – Aerials
  • 2005 World Cup season – 1st place – Aerials
  • 2006 Olympic Winter Games – 7th place – Aerials
  • 2006 World Cup season – 6th place – Aerials
  • 2006 U.S. National Championships – GOLD – Aerials
  • 2010 Olympic Winter Games – SILVER – Aerials


  1. ^ a b c d Slotnik, Daniel E. (27 July 2011). "Jeret Peterson, Skier Known for a Daring Move, Dies at 29". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Jeret Peterson Suicide: Calls 911, Leaves Note". 26 July 2011.
  3. ^ Shipley, Amy (25 February 2006). "U.S. Aerialist Sent Packing After Fight". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Peterson wins aerials silver, Grishin gold". Sky Racing. February 26, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Grey, Jamie (July 26, 2011). "Olympian Jeret Peterson has died". KTVB. Boise, Idaho. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  6. ^ "Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson pleads not guilty to DUI". KTVB. Boise, Idaho. Associated Press. July 26, 2011. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "Police: Freestyle Olympic skier kills self in Utah". My Way News. Associated Press. July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  8. ^ Mike Wise (February 20, 2006). "For Peterson, Different Kind of Turbulence". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ Utah law enforcement releases Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson 911 call - ESPN

External linksEdit