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Johnson Eyes Return To Snow in September

By Ski Racing
May, 26 2022
Breezy Johnson Downhill Lake Louise
Olympian Breezy Johnson, pictured here at the FIS Ski World Cup in Lake Louise, Canada, is eyeing a September return to snow after a knee injury sidelined her prior to the Beijing Olympics. (Steven Kornreich - U.S. Ski Team)

Following a crash in Cortina d' Ampezzo, Italy this past January, Olympian Breezy Johnson announced she would sit out the upcoming Beijing Olympics to focus on healing. Johnson, who was seventh in the downhill at PyeongChang in 2018, was a favorite—along with Italy's Sofia Goggia, who was also injured recently at Cortina—for the downhill win in Beijing.

Recently, Johnson caught up with Ski Racing to discuss her injuries and her return to snow plan. She said, 

“I basically had a bad cartilage lesion when I crashed in Cortina. I tore a large chunk of cartilage off of my knee. I actually tore my ACL earlier in January and was succeeding in skiing without it,” Johnson said.

After the first crash, Johnson opted out of the upcoming speed events in Zauchensee, Austria. Feeling recuperated and ready to race a week later, she finished fourth in the first downhill training run in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Then she crashed during the second training run, tearing the meniscal roots in the same (her right) knee. 

“The only reason I didn’t talk about tearing my ACL when I did it is that I feel there’s a lot of judgment in our sport about ACL tears and re-tears,” she says. “People may think, ‘do you really think you can do this without an ACL?’ I told myself yes.  I was going to try to compete without it. I did compete without it. What people are doing and what people are capable of is somewhat their business. Remember, you’re not in my body. You’re not in my shoes.”

As far as her return back to the mountain, Johnson is hopeful for a September return and will be working hard in the gym at the USANA Center of Excellence in the meantime. “Mentally, obviously, I’ve been struggling. Physically, it’s coming along,” she says. “Our goal is to get back on snow in September. We’re on track right now, working really hard in the gym all the time.”

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