Freestyle nationals: Peterson not bad in "year off"


Anyone who follows freestyle skiing must have been confused. Word was that Jeret “Speedy” Peterson was going to take the year off. It appeared that the Hurricane, his signature jump, was heading off to cooler waters for a few months.
    Then in late September, the U.S. Ski Team released a roster with his name on it. Further confusing matters, a month later, Peterson wasn’t mentioned in preseason writeups. But then in early December, he was off to China for the World Cup opener.
    Was Peterson persona non grata in the team ranks? Burned out? Trying to get his life in order after a turbulent Olympic year? Nope. It was merely a miscommunication between the aerialist and the ski team, he said.
KILLINGTON, Vermont — Anyone who follows freestyle skiing must have been confused. Word was that Jeret “Speedy” Peterson was going to take the year off. It appeared that the Hurricane, his signature jump, was heading off to cooler waters for a few months.
    Then in late September, the U.S. Ski Team released a roster with his name on it. Further confusing matters, a month later, Peterson wasn’t mentioned in preseason writeups. But then in early December, he was off to China for the World Cup opener.
    Was Peterson persona non grata in the team ranks? Burned out? Trying to get his life in order after a turbulent Olympic year? Nope. It was merely a miscommunication between the aerialist and the ski team, he said.
    “I was planning on taking the summer off and not the year off,” Peterson said after winning his third national aerials title at 2007 freestyle nationals, held at Killington. “It just got mixed up with all my coaches. I was planning on jumping, but they didn’t really know that I was. So I was like, ‘Hey dude, where’s my plane ticket. I want to go to China.’ ”
    Peterson spent the summer looking into opening a restaurant in Boise, Idaho. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen just because I can’t find the financing right now,” he said. “So if anybody out there wants to help me finance a restaurant, give me a call.”
    When asked if he would call it the Hurricane Hideout or Speedy’s Bar & Grill, he said that he wants to model it after his favorite restaurant in Park City, a place called the Prime Steak House. “It’s a high-end steak house, and they serve wine and stuff like that,” he said.
    But Peterson will likely put his steak on the backburner until after the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. With his eye on the five-ring circus in Vancouver, he threw a Hurricane for his second jump at freestyle nationals. Even though the Games are still three years away, Peterson and his coach want to whirl up the Hurricane at every opportunity. “The more Hurricanes I get under my belt, the better off I am,” he said.
    The warm, slushy conditions at Killington were also good training for the type of snow Peterson and his fellow aerialists will likely encounter at the 2010 Games.
    Peterson won back-to-back World Cups at Deer Valley in January.
    So will Peterson blow any more wind after 2010? Not off any jumps. “I’m going to hang out,” he said. “Who knows what I’ll do after that.”
    Well, there’s that restaurant idea …

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