BOISE -- The memorial service for 29-year-old Olympic silver medalist Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson was held Saturday afternoon at Boise State University. Speedy died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last week in Utah.
His family said the memorial service was a celebration of Speedy's life, both on and off the slopes.
So much more than a skier
Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson's silver medal was on display, as was his ski gear. In a special memorial video, Speedy's Olympic highlights were played. But what most people talked about was Speedy's personality and character.
Skiing was a vehicle for Jeret to touch many lives, and his success gave him the opportunity to share his wonderful personality, his charm, his smile, with the world, Tyler Neill said.
Four of Speedy's best friends, who cheered him on at each of his three Olympic games, were just some of those who shared memories. Some shared funny memories, like this one about a prank, which is apparently still going on.
We still did the same stupid stuff, like changing the 'B' on Table Rock to a 'T' for Timberline...I think it looks better today than it did then though, Neill said. [On Saturday morning, the 'B' on Table Rock had been changed to 'JP', Speedy's initials].
A letter to Speedy
There are simply moments in life that happen and the reasons for them will forever escape our understanding, Jay Kealey said.
Peterson's friends talked about the loss everyone is now sharing. One friend, Mason Fuller, read a letter he wrote to Speedy.
The search for happiness has been your greatest contest in life, and you fought like hell to win, Fuller read. Your pain was so great, so chronic, so unbearable that despite your knowledge of the sadness you leave behind, your hurt was still too much.
A legacy of caring and compassion
The legacy many in the world may remember is Speedy's signature move on the slopes: the Hurricane. But it's also clear, many will remember him for what he did for others.
The footprint Jeret has left on my life is the importance of not only living your own life passionately, but being passionate about the lives of the people you love, Skiff Larson said.
His care and concern for others made him the amazing person he was and I hope to be able to carry on that legacy wherever I go, Emily Cook, U.S. Ski Team Teammate, said.