Breezy Johnson, considered a top medal contender at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing for the United States, has been forced to withdraw from the Winter Games.
Johnson took to social media to announce that she suffered torn cartilage in her knee after two crashes in training.
“I wanted so badly to realize my dream of becoming an Olympic champion,” she wrote on Instagram. “To bask in the glow of that sunset. But the reality is that the risks, and there are always risks, are no longer worth it.
“This sport is brutal. Someone asked me (Monday) why we do it. And at times like these you wonder. But the truth is that, for me, the feeling of racing is the feeling of being truly alive, and so I will keep coming back every time. Because that feeling of skiing fast is worth everything.”
Johnson was considered the country’s top medal contender in alpine skiing outside of star Mikaela Shiffrin.
While the setback was disappointing, Johnson hopes to continue her success on the slopes after her rehabilitation and get another shot at Olympic gold.
“Luckily, I’ve been a big fan of ski racing since I was a little kid. So while I always wanted to win an Olympic gold medal, I have a lot of other goals in ski racing. Goals that I can work on for the next four years,” she added. “Before I return, hopefully, to the hill that stole this Olympic dream from me, for another shot at that gold medal.”
The 2022 Beijing Olympics officially kick off on Friday, February 4 with the Opening Ceremony before coming to a close on Sunday, February 20.