While film is being made about 1984 Olympic gold medalist Bill Johnson, legendary skiers rally to improve his quality of life

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 25, 2010 1:01 pm

The Ski Channel is currently in production on a new original film, written and directed by Zeke Piestrup (X-Dance runner up filmmaker of “Shane & The McConkeys”, pictured left) about the life and career of Bill Johnson.

Some call Johnson the Bode Miller of the 1980′s. Many considered him brash, abrasive, and not media-friendly. He was a bad boy, and spectators/fans ate it up. He was loved, despite his lack of golden-boy demeanor. He won a gold medal in the 1984 downhill event, and faded from the spotlight after that.

In 2001, at the age of 40, he attempted a comeback. He again made headlines as a horrific crash left him battered. He has never fully recovered from injuries suffered that day.

Today, he gets around mostly in a wheelchair and requires much attention and care. A significant portion of his memory is gone, and when he does walk, he cannot stand up straight.
Just as Zeke is preparing his film, former US Ski Team downhill racer Jace Romick is gathering other former skiing legends to get together and help Bill Johnson.

Romick has developed some raffle prizes to raise funds to help improve the quality of life for Johnson and his mother. He’ll raffle one prize in Steamboat and Winter Park (where the NASTAR finals are taking place) this week, and save another for April 2nd, when Steamboat is set to host a welcome home party for local Olympians.

Tickets can be purchased for either prize or both. Raffle tickets are $5 each or six for $25. Tickets are available at Romick’s Into the West, Ski Haus and Fleischer Sports in Steamboat. Or people can e-mail Romick at www.jaceromick@qwestoffice.net.

Be on the lookout for Zeke’s film in the next few months. We can guarantee it will be epic.