Olympic freestyle skier and Vancouver 2010 Silver Medalist Jeret (Speedy) Peterson died Monday, July 25, in a remote canyon between Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.
Authorities have called his death a suicide and said Mr. Peterson notified authorities of his location in Lamb’sCanyon and his intentions before taking his own life with a gun.
Mr. Peterson became spokesperson for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee in June, with the announcement made public at the annual convention of the Idaho-Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association held in McCall, ID.
A statement released by IEOOC Marketing Director Sherise Jones July 27 said, “Members of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee are deeply saddened by the loss of Jeret Peterson. Our hearts go out to Jeret’s family, friends and fans. In the short time we worked with Jeret, he became a close friend. Like everyone who knew him, we are in a state of shock.”
Ms. Jones said that the committee had looked forward to a long working relationship with the affable and well-liked Mr. Peterson.
“As we worked with Jeret, we saw he had an infectious love of life,” Ms. Jones said. “The Jeret you saw on the Olympic stage receiving the Silver Medal is the same Jeret we were getting to know. He was authentic and had tremendous talent.”
Ms. Jones said that the committee would meet within the next few weeks to determine a different course of action for its marketing plan.
The 29-year-old aerialist became a member of the U.S. Ski Team in the late1990s, and in 1999 he began amassing medals. That year he took the Bronze in the aerial competition at the U.S. Junior Championships. In 2000 and 2001 he repeated the accomplishment, and Ski Racing magazine named him Junior Freestyle Skier of the Year in 2001.
In 2002, he placed ninth in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He took 22nd place in the 2002 World Cup season; sixth place in the 2003 World Championships, eighth place in the 2003 World Cup season; 16th place in the 2004 World Cup season; 12th place in the 2005 World Championship; first place in the 2005 World Cup season; seventh place in the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy; sixth place in the 2006 World Cup season; Gold medal in the 2006 U.S. National Championships; and the Silver in Vancouver.