Watch: American Badass Bill Johnson's Olympic Downhill Gold Medal Run (Sarajevo 1984)

Watch: American Badass Bill Johnson's Olympic Downhill Gold Medal Run (Sarajevo 1984)

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Watch: American Badass Bill Johnson's Olympic Downhill Gold Medal Run (Sarajevo 1984)

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In 1984, Bill Johnson won gold in the men’s downhill competition in Sarajevo — the first Alpine gold medal for an American man. Bill Johnson, the skier who was the first American to win Olympic gold in a downhill event. Bill beat out Swiss star Peter Müller and Austrian Anton Steiner for the upset.

“Basically, any downhill skier is a daredevil, and I’m no exception. I like to drive cars faster than 100 [miles per hour]. I like to go over bumps in my car and get airborne. I like to drink. I chase girls full time, but I only drink part-time.” – Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 30, 1960. When he was seven his family moved to Bogus Basin. Two years later, they moved to Oregon, near Mount Hood. After getting into some trouble as a youth, a judge gave Bill the choice between six months in jail or attending the Mission Ridge ski academy in central Washington state.  He chose to go skiing.

 

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