Johnson Improving Substantially


Portland, OR, May 7, 2001--Former Olympic gold medal winner Bill Johnson continues to improve at a Portland hospital, where he has been recoveringsince April 11.

Johnson, with some level of assistance, is walking, talking and eating by himself. He is very active all day long and the family has been discussing thegoal of leaving the hospital for another care facility.

Johnson, who turned 41 on March 30, was attempting a comeback when he suffered severe head trauma and multiple body injuries in a racing fall March22 at Big Mountain, about 15 miles from Kalispell, Montana. He underwent brain surgery and surgery to repair his tongue and was in a coma until April14.

Johnson won the downhill title at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo but subsequent back and knee injuries troubled him and he retired following the 1990 season. He is the only U.S. man to have won three World Cup downhills.

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