William Johnson

Year Inducted: 1984

Born: March 30, 1960 Van Nuys, CA

Died: January 21, 2016 Gresham, WA

Johnson was named to the U.S. Ski Team in 1982 as a downhill skier. At 23-years-old he had the speed and nerve for a downhiller, but his unorthodox technique was questioned. That all changed in 1983 when he became the first American to win a World Cup downhill and then went on to take the U.S. National Downhill Championship. The following year, 1984, was even bigger. Being selected for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team for the Sarajevo Olympics, the “rather brash” young ski racer boasted prior to the event that he was going to win gold that day and every other skier was there to fight for second place. His prediction came true and he created the biggest upset in downhill skiing to that point in time. He returned to the States a week after the Olympics and again won the 1985 U.S. National DH Championship at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

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