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Former Olympic champion Bill Johnson fights serious infection

Published July 17, 2013 10:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The family of former Olympic downhill champion Bill Johnson says he is dealing with a life-threatening infection that has attacked his major organs and that he no longer wants to go through treatment.

Hospitalized since June 29, Johnson's mother said in a phone interview the one-time daredevil skier refuses a feeding tube, even though it hurts to swallow. He no longer wants supplemental oxygen or antibiotics that could possibly help. Johnson wants to return to an assisted living facility in Gresham, Ore., where the 53-year-old was living before the illness.

His mom said, "that's what he wants." She added they had a "good day" Tuesday as they visited the hospital's garden.

In recent years, Johnson's health has been on the decline because of mini strokes followed by a major one.