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Johnson Sidelined for Beijing 2022 with Knee Injury

By Megan Harrod
January, 25 2022
Breezy Johnson Downhill
Two-time Olympian Breezy Johnson, pictured here in the finish at PyeongChang in 2018, announced on Tuesday that she will sit out of the upcoming Olympic Games due to a knee injury sustained at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. (Getty Images-Tom Pennington)

Sadly, downhiller and Olympic medal hopeful, Breezy Johnson, announced on Tuesday that she will sit out of the upcoming Olympic Games due to a knee injury sustained at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. 

In a post on Instagram, she shared, 

I have to announce that I have unfortunately injured my knee and must withdraw from the Olympics. It was the pleasure of my life to represent @teamusa at the Games in 2018. And all I have wanted ever since was to come back, stronger, faster, to win a gold medal. But I crashed in Cortina the other day and immediately felt a massive crack in my knee. It was a large chunk of cartilage that is partially dislodged. I was given the option to try to compete on it. But I don't think that that is realistic or smart. I could do more damage and I certainly don't think I will be skiing my best.

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.

As Bill Pennington from the New York Times wrote in his exclusive, 

The recovery Johnson faces will not be her first comeback from serious injury. She had to recover from a tibial plateau fracture to make the U.S. ski team competing in Pyeongchang. Seven months after those Olympics, she ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in training and missed the entire World Cup season. In June 2019, she tore two ligaments in her left knee.

Now facing another reconstructive knee surgery, Johnson said she was motivated to make another comeback because so many other top racers had done so and gone on to record their greatest accomplishments. As an example, she mentioned Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who had his anterior cruciate ligament rebuilt last year after a fall in training and is having a dominant season this winter.

“You see that and we’re all optimists, we all hope this injury is the last one,” Johnson said. “You go through periods of time where it breaks your heart and it crushes you because the sport will never love you back. It just can’t because it’s a sport. But you love it so much you do it anyway.”

Johnson will be cheering on her teammates and looking ahead on her road to recovery, once again. 

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