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The Speedy Foundation, established in the name of the late American World Cup aerial skier Jeret "Speedy" Peterson, seen here on the left in 2006 with U.S. Ski Teammates Emily Cook, center, and Jana Lindsey, will team with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation for the second annual Hurricane for Hope fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 24. (Photo courtesy of Jana Lindsey)
Jeret "Speedy" Peterson, the American World Cup aerial skier who won a silver medal in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, also won the 2006 U.S. National Championships in Vermont and competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah and in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.

In spite of all these accolades, Peterson suffered from depression and took his own life on July 25, 2011.

The Speedy Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in his honor, is "dedicated to preventing suicide through education and outreach in the athletic community."

The goal is to educate the community about mental health and to develop awareness, said board member and U.S. Ski Team member Emily Cook.

"In doing that, we want to create a conversation in the community that will eliminate the stigma of depression and anxiety," Cook told The Park Record. "We want to keep these discussion safe and productive."

The foundation was established a year ago at the request of Peterson's mother.

"She approached me and some others to form the foundation," said Cook, who was Peterson's good friend and teammate. "We looked for a way to, one, honor Speedy, and, two, to raise awareness and funds for programs that will help with the mission."

The Speedy Foundation will team with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation for the second annual Hurricane for Hope Big Air Show that will be held at Utah Olympic Park on Saturday, Aug. 24.


The event will feature a buffet dinner provided by Chesley Electric, "Ninja Warrior" demonstrations, live music by the Changing Lanes Experience from Provo, a silent auction and a Big Air aerialist show.

In addition, members from four local clubs — Fly Freestyle, Axis Freestyle, Park City Freestyle and Wasatch Freestyle — will compete for the Spirit of Speedy award.

The funds raised will benefit both The Speedy Foundation and the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.

"Last year when we looked for a place to hold the fundraiser, I felt there was no other place better to do it than at the UOP," Cook said. "That was really a second home to Jeret and to all of us athletes."

Colin Hilton, CEO and president of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, which oversees both the Utah Olympic Park and the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, said working with The Speedy Foundation fits with his nonprofit organization's goals to engage Utah's youth in winter sports; to inspire, educate, and entertain the public through unique and exciting public offerings; to improve the quality of youth sport and physical activity programs in Utah; and to ensure long-term viability and relevance of Utah's Olympic Legacy efforts.

"Both of (these) venues need significant sums of money to keep the doors open and to keep the programs alive," Hilton said.

So Hilton and Cook thought instead of hosting separate efforts for their respective nonprofits, they would host a joint event, they said.

Combined, both foundations' goals are to promote the growth of youth in winter sports, promote mental health awareness about suicide and its stigma and provide critical resources for the development of support systems for athletes, Hilton said

"We wanted to created an event at a place where Speedy practiced for years," he said. "It is also a way to show that Olympic venues can exist without government assistance, which we do.

"Our effort in this benefit is to make sure we have the facilities and programs available to our youth," Hilton said. "We want to make sure we have a low-cost program for kids — not just international athletes — to have an opportunity to get involved in these crazy winter sports."

"One of the things Jeret got the most joy out of was participating in sports," Cook said. "So, to join forces with an organization that brings sport to the youth of this community was a perfect fit.

"I'm happy we joined with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, because sports have made a huge difference in my life," Cook said.

The Speedy Foundation and Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation will present the second annual Hurricane for Hope Benefit Big Air Show at the Utah Olympic Park on Saturday, Aug. 24, beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $150 and can be purchased by visiting