Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Day of Summer Camp Fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

On July 25, 2011 Jeret Peterson, or as everyone knew him, Speedy, decided there was nothing in his life for which to live. Not his friends and family, not the laundry list of life accomplishments including an Olympic silver medal. Speedy’s Olympic story was one of overcoming diversity and hardships in his life. He was very open about his struggles with addiction as well as depression and had admitted to thoughts of suicide in his past.

I did not know Speedy during this dark time, but had heard stories of a struggling young man searching for hope in a world that felt like it had none. It seemed like miles away from the man I remember. I remember watching him, along with all of America, during the 2010 Olympics overcome everything that had happened in his past to win an Olympic silver medal. I remember how happy he was and how excited we all were for him. He did it. He landed his infamous and incredibly difficult trick the ‘hurricane.’ But once the Olympic flame went out America moved on to the next up and coming sporting event and stories like Speedys were forgotten.

Life after the Olympics is something that is not talked about much. It is an interesting transition for athletes going from such a high at the games to feeling like you are at a low. Many athletes experience some form of a depression once the Olympics are over. For us, we have prepared for years if not our whole lives for those two weeks. Once it is over it is difficult to figure out the next direction your life will go. I have often heard people say, ‘if I make an Olympic team I will be happy,’ but the reality is the Olympics will not change who you are and will not change how you feel long term. I only hope that in the future the tragic loss of 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist Jeret Peterson will help put programs into place to help Olympians move on with life after sport.