Maurice Peeters was born in Antwerpen in Belgium, but grew up in Den Haag in The Netherlands, obtaining Dutch nationality on 12 June 1908. He only started cycling competitively at the age of 34. Just one day before his Olympic victory he won the World Amateur Championship and was the heavy favorite for the sprint. In the turbulent final he defeated two Britons, who worked as a team against him. In the same year Peeters also won the Grand Prix de Paris and in 1922 placed second at the Worlds. His last major success came in 1924 with the Paris bronze medal in the tandem together with Gerard Bosch van Drakestein. Peeters was known to have a cognac before each race, but before the Olympic tandem final, he emptied the entire bottle, which explained his strange performance and the fact that he was grinning and smiling strangely after the race. Peeters was a four-time Dutch amateur champion in the sprint (1918-20, 1922).