Downhill: The Bill Johnson Story
Directed by Zeke Piestrup | USA | 2010 | 76min | (Q&A)
An emotionally riveting documentary, DOWNHILL explores the life of skiing’s greatest rebel and cult hero, Bill Johnson. Johnson’s legend was born when he made his Ali-like prediction that “everyone else is racing for second place” at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Dubbed a “nose picker” by Austrian downhill great Franz Klammer, Johnson made good on his prediction, becoming the first American man to win a gold medal in downhill skiing at the Winter Olympics. Two more World Cup downhill victories followed shortly after the Olympics, and Johnson had climbed the mountain: he was the greatest downhiller in the world. “And then it was gone,” says ski legend Phil Mahre of Johnson’s subsequent fall from grace. The documentary depicts this journey and tells a personal tale of a fallen hero, seeking to win back his family and his life. - Russ Spencer
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