March 1984

“Big Bad Billy Wins!” shouted the headline of the Aspen Times in 1984 as Bill Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist, won what became known from then on as “America’s Downhill.” Despite a race delay prompted by a foot of snow, then more snow and fog on race day, Johnson reached speeds of 75 mph in a tuck on Aztec, besting Austrians Helmut Hoeflehner and Anton Steiner, who placed second and third. Fourth place went to Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland, who held an overall points lead in the World Cup downhill.

Zurbriggen went on to win the giant slalom with the fastest time in the first run and the second fastest in the second run, to beat Luxembourg’s Marc Girardelli. American Phil Mahre, in one of his last races before retirement, posted a third-place finish in the GS.