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Andrew Weibrecht

Bill Johnson, a rebel in American skiing, dies at 55

Bill Johnson, a rebel in American skiing, dies at 55

In the days before the 1984 Winter Olympics, Bill Johnson told anyone who would listen that he was sure to win the men's downhill race.

It did not matter that to him that no American had ever prevailed in alpine skiing's premier event. Or that he was young and relatively new to big-time racing.

"I'm going to win the gold medal," he said. "They might as well give it to me now."

Brash. Full-speed ahead. Daring to the point of reckless.

That was how Johnson lived and, after making good on his Olympic promise, he continued down a path that had more twists and turns than any mountain course could throw his way.

The former Olympic champion...

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