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US downhill skier Breezy Johnson withdraws from Beijing Olympics with knee injury

  • January 25, 2022

Team USA will be without top women’s downhill skier Breezy Johnson at next month’s Olympics, the gold contender announced on social media Tuesday.

The 26-year-old racer crashed during training last week in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, injuring her knee.

“Sorry guys. I just can’t,” Johnson, who placed seventh in downhill at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, wrote on Instagram. “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.”

This season, Johnson finished second to 2018 Olympic champion and Italian skier Sofia Goggia in each of the three World Cup downhill competition. She also had two crashes in training runs in January.

Goggia is questionable to compete after two crashes of her own this month.

MORE: Goggia eyes return for Olympic downhill after latest crash

“I was given the option to try to compete on it,” Johnson wrote. “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.”

The gold medal hopeful plans to return in 2026. 

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

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