Last Friday was the memorial service for CR Johnson, fallen ski pioneer. Here is the transcript of a eulogy from that service. 4FRNT Skis posted this, although we’re not sure the exact person who gave the eulogy. Here it is:
“In the beginning, CR was a rival competitor. The same person that inspired me to move to Tahoe also became a competitive peer who unfortunately, was much younger and would typically beat me. I was cool with this because he was after all, a prominent and progressive figure at contests and if you lost to him, it didn’t feel so bad. We lived on the same street, went to the same contests and that was pretty much the extent of our initial relationship.
I moved away from Tahoe the same year CR sustained his head injury. I was at the time living in SLC and since he more or less became a permanent resident at the hospital in town, I would visit with him and his family often. Once he awoke and eventually moved back home, I started to talk more and more with CR. Through his healing, he became really focused on his skiing which led to our eventual sponsor partnership. Day by day, his skiing was dramatically improving. His will to change from the skier he was before the accident to the skier he always wanted to be became more and more clear in his mind. I was fortunate to have this experience with CR. And even if a lot of our conversations where not easily recalled due to his injury, he was always down to share his perspective and for me, I was all ears even if he just got done telling me all about it. He was the king of “verbal spirituality.” He would talk and talk about his feelings and perspectives like he needed to boost his own self consciousness. But later I realized this was far from the truth.
CR was the most honest, positive person I’ve ever met. He said the things he would say because he wanted others to see the world as he did. He harnessed a unique perspective on life and wanted others to share in the experience.
Last month, CR accompanied us for a road trip to Colorado. We had a couple days planned in Aspen, a couple more in Winterpark and then a final day back in Utah. CR was along for the ride to support the promotion of his proud new ski, the CRJ. The kid would get so amped talking about his ski, “Oh Buddy, let me tell you something, its not even fair. Slashing, jibbing around and stomping – oh buddy the tips – you gotta trust in the tips.” He didn’t know how much they cost, he didn’t know how to order them, he didn’t care about all that, he cared in sharing the ski and his skiing with anyone willing to listen. He was so inspirational to me for that. When I would talk about his ski, I would try to deliver the same charasmatic impression as he would.
My relationship with CR developed into that of brotherhood. Being raised as a middle child with two sisters – I longed for a brother. We often would get engaged in super long talks about the most random stuff. Everything from religion to skiing to gogi berries and how a most righteous diet fueled his concept of “Power of the Mind – Matt, Power of the Mind..” The kid was such a trip. Cr was not a childhood friend of mine like for many of you here was, yet rather a recent great friend. He’s left a prominent impression on my life and I take great pride and honor to carry out the rest of my life with CR’s influence and presence.”