To the world, he was an amazing athlete: the 2001 Freestyle Junior of the Year, an 11-year member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, World Cup Champion in 2007, and an Olympic Silver Medalist. But to Boise, Jeret "Speedy" Peterson was the kid from Timberline High who regularly wore a belt buckle emblazoned with the names of his high-school friends: Jay, Mase, Skiff and Tyler.
Salt Lake City Police reported that Peterson died Monday evening from a gunshot wound. He left a note in his pickup truck in Lambs Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake.
Peterson's young life was scarred by tragedy. When he was 5 years old, his older sister was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. When he was 24, he lost a friend to suicide. Later the same year, Peterson was accused of felony burglary and grand theft. The next year, he was sent home from the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, for being involved in a bar fight.
But in February 2010, Peterson's fortunes changed with with a silver medal performance at the Vancouver Winter Games. The following month, he was presented the key to the city of his hometown.
This past weekend, Peterson was charged with DUI, speeding and using fake license plates outside of Sun Valley.
"The entire Olympic family is heartbroken to hear the news of Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson's untimely passing," said U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun.