Breezy Johnson of Victor, Idaho, was named to the U.S. Olympic Team for alpine skiing on Wednesday — and she’s the only Olympic rookie on the women’s team.
Johnson, 22, is on the U.S. Ski Team’s A Team and competes on the World Cup circuit. She finished 18th in the World Cup downhill standings last season and is 23rd this year.
Johnson is the No. 5 American in the downhill standings. The U.S. can place four women in the Olympic downhill.
She is 40th overall and sixth among Americans in the super G.
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Johnson is known for her fearless, aggressive style. She grew up in Victor, on the eastern edge of Idaho, and skied at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort across the border in Wyoming.
“My parents … they weren’t, ‘Be timid because you’re a girl,’ ” Johnson said earlier this winter. “That’s a crazy mountain. We’d just huck ourselves off of any rock we could find, go down these super narrow tree chutes. … It’s not about not being scared. It’s about not letting that define your actions.”
She entered this season knowing she was in contention for an Olympic spot but uncertain if she would qualify. The U.S. has 22 alpine spots to distribute among men’s and women’s skiers.
“Obviously the Olympics are the pinnacle of the sport and we all want to do well, we all want to succeed,” Johnson said. “That’s a blessing and a curse. It’s hard to have that much pressure.”
The women’s downhill is scheduled for Feb. 20 and the super G is Feb. 16 (MT).
Johnson is the sixth Idaho connection on the U.S. Olympic Team. The others are former Boise State track athlete Nick Cunningham (bobsled), former Idaho track athlete Sam Michener (bobsled), Sun Valley resident Hilary Knight (women’s hockey), Chase Josey of Hailey (snowboard halfpipe) and Jessika Jenson of Rigby (snowboard slopestyle and big air).
2018 U.S. OLYMPIC ALPINE SKIING TEAM
Bryce Bennett, Squaw Valley, Calif. (7/14/1992)
Tommy Biesemeyer, Keene, N.Y. (1/30/1989)
David Chodounsky, Crested Butte, Colo. (6/25/1984)*
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Starksboro, Vt. (3/27/1992)
Mark Engel, Truckee, Calif. (10/1/1991)
Tommy Ford, Bend, Ore. (3/20/1989)*
Jared Goldberg, Holladay, Utah (6/15/1991)*
Tim Jitloff, Reno, Nev. (1/11/1985)*
Nolan Kasper, Warren, Vt. (3/27/1989)*
Ted Ligety, Park City, Utah (8/31/1984)*
Wiley Maple, Aspen, Colo. (5/25/1990)
Steven Nyman, Sundance, Utah (2/12/1982)*
Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, N.Y. (2/10/1986)*
Stacey Cook, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (7/3/1984)*
Breezy Johnson, Victor, Idaho (1/19/1996)
Megan McJames, Park City, Utah (9/24/1987)*
Alice McKennis, New Castle, Colo. (8/18/1989)*
Laurenne Ross, Bend, Ore. (8/17/1988)*
Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, Colo. (3/13/1995)*
Resi Stiegler, Jackson, Wyo. (11/14/1985)*
Lindsey Vonn, Vail, Colo. (10/18/1984)*
Jackie Wiles, Aurora, Ore. (7/13/1992)*
* Competed in past Olympics