Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (December 12, 1981 – July 25, 2011) 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 in Lambs Canyon, Utah on July 25, 2011. The cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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."
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.
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. Three days previously, Peterson had been arrested for driving while intoxicated. 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—all stemming from a childhood in which he was sexually abused and at the age of 5-years-old he lost one of his older sisters to a drunk driver.
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.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