Change skier Breezy Johnson’s status from “Olympic hopeful” to South Korea-bound. In an update to our story in the February edition of Bellingham Alive (p. 68), the Western Washington University sophomore, who grew up in Victor, Idaho – and has yet to ski Mount Baker, Western’s “home” mountain – has been named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Pyeongchang, South Korea, when the Games run Feb. 8-25. (The February magazine went to press before the team was announced.)
Not only that, but she has been on a tear, placing fourth and eighth in two World Cup races – the best results of her career – leading up to the Games, increasing the chances she’ll get to race in Pyeongchang.
“I do not yet know if I will be competing at all,” said Johnson, at 22 among the youngest on the ski team, through a representative shortly after she got the green light for the Games. “I know that sounds strange but in alpine, speed coaches use the downhill training runs in order to decide who has the most medal potential and therefore who will race…The coaches have also not decided how they will choose Super G spots. It will likely be decided by training in Korea as well as previous Super G results. Same with the Super Combined (downhill and slalom event).
Pictured Breezy Johnson
Johnson, who studies English and is named for her grandmother’s neighbor, is attending Western only during spring quarter as ski training consumes the rest of her year. Johnson is a fresh face at the elite national team level.
“I am really excited for this opportunity!” she said via email to her representative. “I have been working toward the Olympics for longer than I can remember and it is such an honor to be chosen to represent my country in the Games. But I still want to compete my best and vie for a medal in Korea so I am not pausing or relishing in the moment too much because I still have a job to do. I have been so grateful for all of the support of everyone who has reached out to me, congratulated me, and supported me along the way including all of my sponsors, family and friends; hopefully the best is yet to come!
A fractured leg ended her breakout season last March, when she vaulted onto skiing’s national “A” team in quick fashion. But prior to January, she hadn’t finish in the top 20 this season on a deep U.S. speed team that features the history’s winningest female skier in Lindsay Vonn and superstar Mikaela Shiffrin. But hey, at the Olympics, anything can happen.
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