Matt Higgins wrote:
C. R. Johnson, an innovative figure in the young professional sport of
free skiing and a medal winner in X Games competitions, died Wednesday
while skiing on treacherous terrain at Squaw Valley resort in
California. He was 26 and lived nearby in Truckee, Calif.
Johnson had returned to ski professionally four years ago after
recovering from a life-threatening head injury. He had learned to ski at
Squaw Valley, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
The development of twin-tip skis during the 1990s allowed skiers to ride
forward or backward, and it kicked off a revolution in the sport.
Johnson adopted twin-tips early and was the first to perform many
maneuvers, including a bio 1260 - a spin of three and a half rotations
while grabbing his skis - at the 2002 U.S. Freeskiing Open.
The same year, at the Winter X Games, he won a silver medal in the
slopestyle discipline, in which tricks are performed off obstacles and
terrain features on a downhill course. At the 2001 X Games, he won a
bronze medal in big air, a discipline of high-speed, high-altitude
maneuvers performed off enormous ramps of snow.
“Only the things that you truly love will you pursue with that energy, and for me, my family, my friends, and skiing, that’s it for me, that’s my life. The joy I get from skiing…that’s worth dying for.” - CR Johnson