Breezy Johnson takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Downhill on Dec. 19, 2020 in Val d'Isere France.
While most Americans were sleeping Saturday, Breezy Johnson was sending an early birthday present to her mom.
For the second day in a row the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, native finished third in a world cup downhill race in Val d’Isere, France, thus earning the 24-year-old Olympian her second world cup podium finish one day after her first. From the bottom of the hill in the French Alps she sent a special message to mom Heather Noble through the TV cameras.
“Happy birthday, mom!”
Since making her world cup debut in 2015 Johnson had finished in the top-5 three times but never better than fourth. Now she’s done so twice in two days after crossing the line in 1:44.97, which was .27 of a second behind winner Sofia Goggia of Italy, the defending Olympic champion. Friday’s winner Switzerland’s Corinne Suter was second. Two other Americans ended in the top 20, with Keely Cashman taking 16th and Jacqueline Wiles 18th.
The hard-charging Johnson appeared poised for world cup success after finishing seventh in the downhill and 14th in the super-G at her Olympic debut in 2018. However, a series of knee injuries in recent years set that progress back.
Johnson tore her right ACL in September 2018 and missed the entire 2018-19 world cup season. The following summer she tore her left PCL and MCL, which delayed her start in that season’s world cup until January.
She had no such bad luck this year, though, and she’s making up for lost time.
In the two training runs ahead of the racing this week in Val d’Isere, Johnson posted the second fastest time on Wednesday before leading all skiers on Thursday. Now she has podium finishes in the first two downhill races of the season to rank third in the season downhill standings and 13th overall.
And she might not be done yet this weekend. The Val d’Isere world cup wraps up Sunday with a super-G.