SOCHI SCENE: Absent friend
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Maybe he would've suited up for the Sochi Games. Maybe not. Either way, there's no denying that, out on the aerials course, Jeret "Speedy" Peterson is missed.
The sport's foremost boundary pusher, and the inventor of the three-flip, five-twisting "Hurricane" jump, took his life in 2011, unable to resolve the demons and depression eating away inside of him.
There's been a lot of reminiscing about Speedy going on in recent months, as aerials has gotten ready for the day in the spotlight it receives every four years.
Here's one story, as told recently by Mike Hanley, a former aerialist who was good friends with Peterson:
"One of my favorite experiences in any kind of skiing was being on the water ramps, a couple years back, prior to Vancouver," Hanley said. "The Chinese team was there, hiking and hiking and hiking. Doing a million singles, a million doubles, then finally onto the triples. Speedy came in on a motorcycle, parked it on the deck, threw his suit on, hiked right up to Mongo (one of the higher jumps), took some steps up. First jump, he does full, double full, full. (Four twists). Hops out of the pool. Goes over, hikes to the very top of the ramp, drops in a Hurricane. Stomps it down. Gets out of the pool. Looks at the Chinese. Gets on the motorcycle and drives away. It was beautiful."
— By Eddie Pells — Twitter http://twitter.com/epells
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu