Remembering CR Johnson by Mike Laroche

Remembering CR Johnson by Mike Laroche

Christopher Jerard | Kahlil Johnson | Tanner Hall | Mike Laroche | Scott Gaffney | Matt Sterbenz
 Tag Kleiner | Ladd Williams | Lorraine Johnson

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View the CR memorial photo gallery from our tribute issue.


MIKE LAROCHE, FRIEND

CR and I competed against each other in moguls; he was on the Squaw team and I was on the Alpine team. What really stood out to me was that he wasn't conformed to the regular tricks and the regular stuff that the USSA had set up. He brought a different style that wasn't everyday twister-spread style.

I was there for the 1440. We were filming for Chapter 3 up at Squaw. It was Jussi Oksanen, Kevin Jones, Dave Downing and these other pro snowboarders. It was an epic day, we were all feeding off each other, and it was a massive jump. He stomped the 1080 and we were all fired up. The 1260 came out of nowhere and when he talked about throwing an extra half spin in there our jaws dropped. It was a breakthrough point in skiing to see. He turned a lot of heads that day.

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P: Chris O'Connell

The X Games halfpipe in 2003 gave me goosebumps. It was insane. You had Candide from France and CR from the States: two completely different skiing backgrounds, but two really talented athletes. Everybody at that point just sat down, shut up and watched the show.

Now they have these high air contests at the X Games. This year Pete Olenick went over 24-25 feet and that's five or six years after Candide and CR went 20-21 feet out of an 18-foot pipe. It just shows that those guys were on top of the sport well before it got to where it is today.

He's always been a positive, loving and happy person. It radiated off of him, especially when he was skiing. He couldn't contain it. Even though he was respected as a skier, he also had a lot of good friendships and people really knew him as an upstanding human being.

I thought about him every day when he got injured. We flew out to see him late one night and sat in the hospital. When you walk in and see someone so close to you all tubed up, on oxygen and eyes closed… it's scary. Up until that point you'd think he was invincible. And to see the wind get taken out of his sails was just a big reality check for everybody.

"He was very positive and loving. He had a huge heart. He loved his family, his friends and skiing. It showed in everything that he did."

You hate to say that things happen or a reason, but when that happened, CR wanted to figure out how he could turn it around into a positive. He pushed everyone to wear helmets and spoke to all the freestyle teams and put the passion that he had back into the sport.

He was very positive and loving. He had a huge heart. He loved his family, his friends and skiing. It showed in everything that he did.

It didn't matter how many times we saw it, every morning before a powder day, CR put on Blizzard of Ahhs. Even though he was an insane park skier, he really loved skiing powder and loved being on the mountain.


View the CR memorial photo gallery from our tribute issue.

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Christopher Jerard | Kahlil Johnson | Tanner Hall | Mike Laroche | Scott Gaffney | Matt Sterbenz
 Tag Kleiner | Ladd Williams | Lorraine Johnson

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