Drew Petersen
Petersen has made the bold choice to be jarringly open about what he’s gone through. (Photo: Michael Brown)
Adventures in Audio

A Professional Athlete’s Battle with Mental Illness

Drew Petersen

On the outside, Drew Petersen seemed like a guy who was living the dream. He is extremely fit with a powder-snow-catching beard, and he’s prone to hoots of joy when skiing down amazing mountains around the world. But on the inside, he was for many years hiding loneliness, anger, and a deep sadness. Only recently, in the wake of a near-death accident on Oregon’s Mount Hood, has he begun to face the mental health challenges that nearly drove him to oblivion. He’s also made the bold choice to be jarringly open about what he’s gone through—because he knows that he’s not the only one.


This episode is brought to you by Ikon Pass, which gives you access to the most iconic skiing and snowboarding mountains in the world. Ikon Passes for the 2022–23 season go on sale March 10 at the lowest price of the year. Learn more at ikonpass.com.

Follow the Outside Podcast

Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.