Mother of Bill Johnson shares memories of her son's success - KPTV - FOX 12

Mother of Bill Johnson shares memories of her son's success

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Skier Bill Johnson, who won the 1984 Olympic gold in men's downhill, displays his medal at his family's home in Gresham, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2001. Skier Bill Johnson, who won the 1984 Olympic gold in men's downhill, displays his medal at his family's home in Gresham, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2001.
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

It was a sad day for the family of gold medal winning skier Bill Johnson, who died Thursday at a Gresham assisted living facility.

Johnson’s mother D.B. Johnson said he'd been in terrible pain for the last several weeks after his condition declined quickly since Christmas.

Johnson won the Gold Medal in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo for downhill skiing.

He attempted a comeback in 2001, but during a training run he crashed into some fencing and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Since then, Johnson suffered multiple strokes, and was even arrested for punching a deputy in the face during a traffic stop, though the charges were eventually dropped.

D.B. Johnson said her son loved sharing skiing stories with old and new friends and passing his medal around.

“Oh he'd make sure I had the gold medal, we keep it in our safe. We'd make sure we'd bring it with us to his place if he was going to meet somebody new so that they could see the medal,” she said. “He loved putting it on people. He didn't necessarily like wrapping it around himself, he just liked putting it on people and having them take a picture with him. He never hesitated to share what he could with everybody.”

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