For the third time in as many races, Victor, Idaho, native and Olympian Breezy Johnson found the podium for her downhill performance.
Going into Saturday’s race in St. Anton, Austria, women from the United States had won the last two World Cup downhill events at the resort. Lindsey Vonn won in 2007, and Alice Mckennis Duran won in 2013. Johnson told USSkiandSnowboard.org that she received a text message from Vonn before her race, reading: “Try to keep St. Anton in America’s hands, ok?”
And if there were a year for Johnson to do it, it would be this one, when Johnson is climbing closer and closer to a World Cup victory.
Her run was great, but Italy’s Sofia Goggia and Austria’s Tamara Tippler were just a bit better. Goggia took the win in 1 minute, 24.06 seconds, with Tippler 0.96 seconds back in 1:25.02. Johnson finished third, her third bronze of the World Cup circuit in as many races, in 1:25.10.
“I think that Sofia’s run was incredible,” Johnson said. “She skied with a lot of courage and she sometimes isn’t so good at always pulling that off, but she did an amazing job today and skied really spectacularly. Hats off to her.”
On Sunday, Johnson missed out on the podium in super-G after catching an edge, finishing just outside the points in 32nd place.
Johnson earned her first podiums late last month, placing third in successive World Cup downhill races in Val d’Isere, France. Before that, Johnson had an extended stay at Copper Mountain, Colorado, where she finished the training period with a national championship victory in downhill.
Following Saturday’s race in Austria, Johnson told USSkiAndSnowboard.org she gave credit to that training site in Colorado for her early season success in Europe.
“We worked really hard there, we had great conditions, we trained with our men’s team,” she said. “That was great to get full-length downhill training in November. I honestly don’t know if anyone else got that, but it was amazing to have.
“I think that helped a lot in order to get ready, because you come to Val d’Isere and here, and it almost feels a little bit slow.”