Bill Johnson: Trailblazing U.S. skier dies

Story highlights

  • History-making U.S. skier dies aged 55
  • Johnson won gold at 1984 Winter Olympics

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(CNN)Bill Johnson, the first U.S. skier to win an Olympic men’s downhill gold medal, has died aged 55.

Johnson skied into the history books at the age of 23 winning at the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo.

“As a teammate of Bill Johnson during a very successful period of U.S. Ski Team history, I had the utmost respect for his accomplishments as an athlete,” The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) President and CEO Tiger Shaw told the U.S. ski team website.

“He established a benchmark for downhill ski racing in America and motivated generations of downhillers to come.”

Filming the world's fastest skiers

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