Jeret “Speedy” Peterson has committed suicide in a remote canyon outside of Salt Lake City. He had recently been cited for drunken driving outside of Sun Valley, Utah, and had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Known as one of the world’s most risk-taking and innovative freestyle skiers, the 29-year-old Peterson called 911 before shooting himself, police said. “He told the dispatcher that he was going to kill himself, and he was up in Lambs Canyon,” Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake said Tuesday afternoon Police found Peterson’s body at about 9:30 p.m in Lambs Canyon, a fifteen minute drive east of Salt Lake City.
The skier was known to have problems with alcohol and depression, and had admitted to having thoughts about suicide.
Peterson was known for his signature jump, the Hurricane – five twists packed into three somersaults while vaulting off the ramp and flying 50ft in the air.
“Today is a sad day in our sport,” Bill Marolt, the CEO of the U.S. ski team, said in a statement Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. “Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson was a great champion who will be missed and remembered as a positive, innovative force on not only his sport of freestyle aerials, but on the entire U.S. Freestyle Ski Team family and everyone he touched. “Peterson had seven wins on the World Cup circuit, including the World Cup championship, and was a three-times American champion. He won the silver medal in aerials at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.