REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL REVISITS FORMER OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST BILL JOHNSON

FEB. 9, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO(r)

hboWith the Winter Games in Vancouver just days away, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL presents an Olympic-themed program when its 155th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, FEB. 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT, 8:00 p.m. CT), an hour earlier than usual, exclusively on HBO.

Segments include:

*Hard Times.  In 2006 REAL SPORTS told the story of Bill Johnson, the United States’ first downhill skiing gold medalist.  Johnson arrived at the 1984 Sarajevo Games a brazen 23-year-old without much of a track record, but with enough ability to carry him down the mountain in record time.  Instead of emerging from the Olympics an American hero, however, he acquired a bad image to go with his medal.  Many had already been put off by his cocky prediction that he would win the gold, finding it unbecoming in a sport that values respect and etiquette.  And unfortunately for Johnson, the next 25 years proved more challenging than any downhill gates, as he suffered the death of a child, the deterioration of his marriage and a horrific skiing accident.  Now, four years since his original profile, correspondent Frank Deford updates this moving story.

Producers:  Chapman Downes, Jill Klapper.

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL has won the Sports Emmy(r) for Outstanding Sports Journalism 12 of the last 14 years, in addition to being the first sports program honored with the duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

The executive producers of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; Kirby Bradley is senior producer.