But characteristically, Johnson skied hard and had nearly finished the turn when he lost his balance and flew off the course.
In an instant, his comeback was over.
An emergency tracheotomy was performed on the mountain and he was airlifted to a hospital, where emergency brain surgery was performed.
Johnson had a collapsed lung, a four-inch section of his skull was removed and he lay in a coma for weeks.
"He was being held on by life support until we were able to say goodbye," says Gina.
But in recent days, Johnson has made great progress. He has taken his first steps, winked and uttered his first words. He is now able to eat and doctors believe he is regaining his cognitive function.
"I think Bill went from the top and I think he's hit bottom," says Gina, who is now back in touch with her ex-husband. "And I just hope he can make it back up."