Olympic Silver Medalist Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson Commits Suicide
The skier, who won his medals in Vancouver, shot himself days after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Olympic silver medalist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson has committed suicide just days after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Peterson was found beside his vehicle just outside Salt Lake City on Monday with a self-inflicted gun wound.
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Lieutenant Justin Hoyal, a spokesman for Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake, told Reuters he had called 911 threatening to kill himself. He left a suicide note, which has not been released by police.
His death comes just three days after he was arrested in Idaho on suspicion of drunken driving. He had been stopped by police after driving his truck 70 mph in a 25 mph zone. He pleaded not guilty and was released from jail on $500 bail.
Peterson won his silver medal in the men's freestyle skiing aerials competition at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
He had announced that he wasn't competing in the 2012 season because he wanted to focus on his business studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association said.
"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," U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement.
"The personal challenges Speedy has battled are familiar to all of us, and on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee, I'd like to offer my sympathy to Speedy's family and friends," Blackmun added.
Peterson has long faced troubles. He was sent home from the Turin Winter Olympics in Italy in 2006 for getting into a fight. That same year, he pleaded guilty to theft, according to Idaho court records obtained by Reuters. In 2008, he was found guilty of public urination in Boise.
Peterson has been open about his battle with alcoholism, gambling and depression. "Things have been going wrong for me since the day I was born," he once told Men's Journal.