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Police: Freestyle Olympic skier kills self in Utah

Jul 27, 2011 6:56:00 AM - thestate.com
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 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."

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