‘Hurricane’ lands silver for Speedy
February 27, 2010
CYPRESS MOUNTAIN, British Columbia Jeret "Speedy" Peterson delivered on his promise, landing the much-anticipated "Hurricane" and getting a silver medal to show for it Thursday night at Cypress Mountain. Belarusian Alexei Grishin edged out Peterson for gold in the finals of the men’s Olympic aerials competition, while Ryan St. Onge finished just outside the medals in fourth.
"I know that a lot of people go through a lot of things in their life, and I just want them to realize they can overcome anything," said a teary-eyed Peterson, who grew up in Boise, Idaho, but now lives in Park City. "There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and mine was silver and I love it."
Hard to believe, but there was calm before the 50-foot, quintuple-twisting, triple-flipping storm.
"I was abnormally calm," Peterson said. "I don’t know why I was so calm. I have been all week. I’ve been having fun. I’ve been hanging out with my family and my friends. I couldn’t have painted this picture any better."
After ranking fifth in the first round, Peterson needed to gain considerable ground in the finale for any hopes at a medal. Luckily, he had just the trick, earning the night’s highest score with a 128.6 by landing his signature jump. Peterson vaulted into first with four aerialists left, and only Grishin was able to surpass his score snatching gold by 1.2 points.
"Right when I landed it, yeah, I knew that I’d be up on the podium," Peterson said. "I’m not going to even start taking my jump apart because, as an athlete, you’re a perfectionist, and you could do that ’til tomorrow. But I’m patting myself on the back and thanking every single person that’s ever done something for me. I couldn’t do it without all of them."
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It is the third U.S. medal in men’s aerials, with Eric Bergoust winning gold in Nagano and Joe Pack taking silver in Salt Lake. Peterson was seventh after landing the Hurricane albeit somewhat unsteadily in Torino.
Peterson said this medal redeems him, and reminds him what he’s capable of when he gives it everything he has.
"I’ve really changed things around in the last three and a half, three and three-quarters years, and this is my medal for everything that I’ve overcome."
Zhongqing Liu of China held off St. Onge for bronze by 2.6 points, after the world champion ratcheted up the standings from eighth to fourth with an immaculate second jump for a score of 124.66.
"I jumped terrible in training," St. Onge said. "It was just all those little details, putting it together in contest, trying to make good decisions, trying to make great speed choices, getting a little bit lucky and focusing on all the right details. All of that was a work in progress, and finally it kind of all came together."
St. Onge said he was in awe of his teammate’s accomplishment and thrilled not only for his success but for pushing the sport’s boundaries.
"I can’t believe he did it," he said. "It’s just an amazing feat to stick full triple full full. The thing is, is that I think every athlete out here knew he was going to do it. It was just amazing."
Peterson said the full weight of his first Olympic medal had yet to set in out on the course.
"I think when I hug my mom, it’s gonna hit me."
Official Results 2010 Winter Olympic Games Cypress Mountain, BC Feb. 25 Men’s Aerials Final