Today is an extremely sad and emotional day Olympians around the world. News reports released, confirm that the popular U.S. freestyle skier, Jaret “Speedy” Peterson, committed suicide today in Utah.
His tragic death comes just 17-months after winning a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics, which was the highlight of his career. During the 2010 Olympics, his second jump in the men’s aerial finals, secured him the medal and a thrilling visit to the podium. “Speedy” was known for his exciting three-flip, five twist move, which was coined the “Hurricane”.
Police confirmed that Peterson, who was only 29-year-old, called emergency services before shooting himself. Speculations that his citation for drunken driving on Friday, may have been a sign of his depression, but concrete information has not yet been released.
Many athletes train their entire lives to reach the ultimate goal of making the Olympics. But winning an actual medal is “icing on the cake.” However, some believe once you reach that peak in your career, there is nowhere else to go and nothing more to prove. This causes some Olympic medalists to search for greater goal, and when they cannot find one, some drift into a deep depression. Although this may not be the case for Peterson, it could be the root of his decision to take his own life.
If you finally medal and have nothing else to prove, can it cause such a deep depression, its hard to move on? Or is there a more deep seeded issue just below the surface? Any Olympians out there with some answers?
A very sad day indeed, maybe this will be a wake-up call to the Olympic Committee. It may be a good idea to offer counselors to those who lose and win in the future.