Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goodbye My Beautiful Speedy

Jeret "Speedy" Peterson killed himself on Monday (7/25/2011).

Many people wanted to write Speedy off as a problem-child after his shameful behavior at Torino in 2006, when he got into a drunken brawl at a post-competition celebration and was sent home early. And yet, within a month this amazingly talented young man won the USA's national championship in his sport.

Speedy's life was as uneven as his professional success. After landing The Hurricane, his signature 5-3, Speedy came home from Vancouver in 2010 with a Silver Medal. I will never forget the image on his face that night, as he went back to the athlete's village, tears streaming down his face. Thanks to God for letting Speedy feel that moment of perfect joy in a life that was too short and too full of sadness.

It is easy to judge people for killing themselves... this beautiful and talented young man was an addict, specifically an alcoholic. Speedy drank in order to dull the memories of deep trauma: he witnessed a friend commit suicide violently, and -- far more tragically -- Speedy was raped when he was a young boy.

I write this entry not just as a farewell to a beautiful human being, but as a reminder to all of us: addiction kills. And finally, a thought: if you want to get your jollies by taking sexual advantage of a child then please do society a favor and kill yourself first. God forgive me for that thought, but I will not take it back.

Rest in peace Speedy. Sochi won't be the same without you.

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