Risky jump reaps silver Kim sets record in skating to gold
By EDDIE PELLS
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Jeret "Speedy" Peterson always insisted the moment was as important as the medal.
This time, he gets both.
Peterson took his high-risk, high-reward career and life to a satisfying new level last night, throwing his one-of-a-kind "Hurricane" jump at the Olympics and walking away with the silver medal.
He took a chance nobody else in this dangerous sport will take — wrapping five twists into three somersaults as he vaults off the ramp and 50 feet in the air. He stuck his landing and was rewarded by the judges.
Peterson's score — 128.62 — was the highest awarded for any of the 24 jumps on a clear, cold night at Cypress Mountain. But his total — 247.21 — was 1.2 short of Belarussian Alexei Grishin, who was judged to be a bit more technically precise, if not quite as daring.
Grishin added the gold to the bronze he won in 2002. Liu Zhongqing of China took bronze.
Peterson took the silver and got to prove, finally, that you can do both — put on the best show and have something show for it at the Olympics.
After landing his patented jump, American coach Matt Christensen shouted from the top, "You did it! You did it!" Peterson started pumping his fists in celebration and skied over to an American cheering section that included U.S. teammate Emily Cook, whose injury in 2002 gave Peterson the first of his three Olympic spots.
Peterson was an also-ran in 2002.
His trip to Turin four years later will be remembered mostly for what happened after he threw the Hurricane and finished seventh. He celebrated that night, saying, "I came to throw the Hurricane, and I threw the Hurricane."