The ‘radical dude’ stereotype of those who compete on snow is not one born from nowhere but in Speight, you have a man who breaks that mould.
A self-confessed history nerd with a keen interest in politics and public affairs, the freestyle skier cites balance as the key to being happy in a life involving elite level competition.
Speight has been British halfpipe champion on two occasions but says his biggest career achievements have both come within the last year.
“I got a fourth place (at the World Cup) in China in December which is my best result by a mile in a major tournament,” explained the 25-year-old.
“That’s competing against the top guys internationally which was always something that was so out of reach when I was younger.
“Now where I’ve managed to do that and compete against people that I grew up watching in ski films, that stands out and I’m really proud of getting to that sort of level.”
Speight also competed for Team GB at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, finishing 15th in the halfpipe skiing contest; an experience he admits he never thought possible.
“Being involved in PyeongChang was amazing,” Speight continued. “Something I never expected growing up. For us to be part of the broader Team GB, with all the other winter sports and not just skiing was amazing as well as that’s not something we always do.
“To be in that team environment with the kit and stuff is sort of alien to us so again, amazing experience.”
Whilst commitment to his sport and pushing himself to be the best is imperative to Speight, he is well aware of the importance of a balanced lifestyle.
He continued: “There’s lots of factors that come in that you have to manage and juggle and real life is there as well.
“You’ve got to go through the same processes through your twenties as anyone does. You’ve got to manage all things around family, friends and growing up like any sort of person does but you’ve got the added complication of being committed to your sport.
“Personally, I like to have a lot going on and have a really hectic lifestyle.
“Balance is good! It helps me get the most out of my sport as well because if you’re too closed and focused on one thing, it can be quite unhealthy.
“The reason I’ve personally been able to stick with the sport for so long and get to the level I have is because I have invested time in other areas of my life and found that balance which is key to being happy through it all and really enjoying it as well, which is the most important thing.”
Speight grew up in Sheffield and seems to have a wise head on his shoulders. He lists music gigs, Arsenal FC and hanging out with his mates as pastimes that give him that much lauded balance.
Alongside his sporting achievements, he also has a history degree from the University of Manchester and claims he watches ‘too much news.’
Earlier this year, Speight spoke at the People’s Vote march in central London which was attended by around 100,000 people.
With that and the Olympics, 2018 has seen the skier involved in some huge events but he revealed that he was far more nervous at the Olympics.
“The Olympics was a crazy one,” he added. “I ended up falling on my first run and I think the nerves got to me without even realising it.
“At the peoples vote I didn’t feel any pressure because I’m not a politician. Because I wasn’t already involved I had nothing to lose really, so definitely the Olympics were more nerve-racking.”
The Olympics may not have been the most nerve jangling experience of the year for Speight had he accepted an offer to go on Paddy McGuiness”Take Me Out’. However, deciding the move just wasn’t right for him, we’ll never know.
It would be easy to understand how a lifestyle like Speights might go to one’s head but the man born in East London is quick to give credit to the people keeping him grounded.
He continued: “I’m gonna be cheesy. I’ve got some really good mates and they’re really grounded and they work hard and stay honest. They’re really real and my parents are like that as well.
“Through all sport and when I’ve got involved in things alongside sport and my profile rose, having my mates there through it all and my parents has really kept me grounded and not let my head get into the clouds.”
Whilst Pete Speight off the snow is an intriguing character, on it he is one of the best in his field and with the new season nearly upon us, he seems to have a healthy approach to sport and to life in general – surely the right ingredients for further success.