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When we look at people who are famous, people who have reached success beyond our own imaginations, we think we have an accurate glimpse into their lives. We do not.
Today we learn the sad news of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson’s death – from an apparent suicide. Peterson was a recent Olympic silver medalist, a risk-taking freestyle skier who had overcome personal challenges to reach that podium in Vancouver. “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.''
We don’t know what pain people carry in their hearts. Peterson witnessed a friend’s suicide. He lost his sister to a drunken driver. Peterson was sexually abused as a child. These life events do not create an easy path. Peterson inspired many young skiers with his feats; may his life story inspire each of us to listen to the pain in others’ lives – as well as the award-winning success.
(AP file photo)
Idaho Olympic skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson reportedly is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Utah. Peterson, who won the silver medal in aerials at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, had just pleaded not guilty to a DUI offense in the Sun Valley area after an arrest there Friday; KTVB-TV has a full report here. Here's a link to a Deseret News story on Peterson's 2010 Olympic triumph, in which he talks about his troubled past and the transformative power for him of the remarkable aerial twists and flips that won him the Olympic medal. Here's a link to his TeamUSA profile, which notes he started skiing at age 7 at his hometown ski resort, Bogus Basin. This Men's Journal article from February of 2010 tells of his life struggles and his triumphs.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. aerial freestyle skier from Idaho has pleaded not guilty to speeding and drunken driving charges after his arrest Friday. Through his attorney, Jeret “Speedy” Peterson filed paperwork indicating he'll challenge his arrest after police say he raced through Hailey, Idaho at three times the speed limit. Peterson failed field sobriety tests but refused a blood-alcohol test. He's since been released from Blaine County Jail. Doug Nelson, his attorney, didn't return a phone call Tuesday. Peterson, who won a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, was dismissed from the 2006 Turin Olympics after a drunken brawl. In 2009, he was cited in Boise for public urination. And in 2005, Peterson was charged with breaking into a home and stealing weapons. He pleaded guilty after felony charges were reduced.
When Ron “Pete” Peterson announced his candidacy for governor today at a Boise bikini bar, there wasn’t exactly a crowd on hand, but the few people there were mostly supportive. “I think it’s wonderful,” said a dancer named Tawni, who slipped off her 8-inch-high stilettos when Peterson marveled at her height, and suddenly became 8 inches shorter. “It’s out here where the normal people would come.” - Betsy Z. Russell, Eye on Boise - more here
Question: Who do you think should run for governor of Idaho?