Mind + Body: Breezy Johnson

2017 U.S. Ski Team training at the Copper Speed Center, Copper Mountain, CO Photo © Troy Tully

Just Getting Started: Breezy Johnson competed at the Winter Olympics and is ready for more

written by  Lauren Kramer

When Breezy Johnson got the call saying she’d been selected to be one of the U.S. alpine skiers in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the 22-year-old was breathless with excitement. A fierce competitor since her childhood days, this was the ultimate test of her skill, pairing her with the world’s best alpine skiers.

“I was always super serious about ski racing, and for as long as I can remember I wanted to be an Olympian ski racer,” she said. “I remember competing at one race when I was super young, and where they gave ribbons to everyone who competed. I immediately threw mine out because I wasn’t interested in something given just for competing.

I wanted something I had to earn.” Johnson’s father, Greg Johnson, was her first ski instructor and coach and she quickly took a shine to the sport. “My brother and I were pains in the butt to any resort we were at,” she recalled. “We were better skiers than our instructors even as kids, so we’d ditch them and rip around the mountain on our own. But what in influenced me to stick with the sport is that I’m always looking for a challenge, and skiing was the most challenging thing I ever did, which made it the most rewarding.”

Accustomed to skiing at speeds of up to 85 mph, Johnson said what scares her is less the actual speed and more the relative speed of “things coming at you. I always say that alpine speed skiing is about hearing that little instinctual voice tell you to slow down and then going faster anyway. It’s so thrilling to see how far you can push the limits. And every time you decide not to listen to your instincts and you go faster, you feel a little bit like you’re defying death itself.”

A member of the U.S. Ski Team since 2014, Johnson has been in training for several years, tackling glacial slopes in Europe and snowy peaks in New Zealand, Chile and across the U.S. She’s determined to come home with a gold medal. In PyeongChang, she finished fourteenth in Super G and seventh in the downhill, just 1.12 seconds behind the gold medal winner. “We know that we are all good,”she said of her seven fellow athletes on the team. “ the only thing we can do is ski our best. If I can’t win, then having one of my teammates win is the next best thing.”

Breezy Johnson

U.S. Olympic Skier

Age: 22

Born: Jackson, Wyoming

Residence: Victor, Idaho, and Bellingham, Washington


Monday: 45-minute jog followed by 2.5 hours strength training, lunch then 1.5 hours core workout

Tuesday: 30-minute jog, 1.5 hours coordination (soccer ball work, slackline, trampoline), lunch then 1.5 hours sprint workout

Wednesday: 3 hours strength (more power-based), afternoon off

Thursday: 30-minute jog, medium-intensity cardio workout, then 2-hour core workout

Friday: 2.5 hours strength, then 1-hour coordination workout (speed ladder, possibly rollerblading), maybe a 1-hour fun game in evening with friends

Saturday: 3-5 hour hike, bike, run or swim

Sunday: Off


Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 hours ski training, 1-hour game in afternoon (volleyball, tennis, tennoccer)

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Training run (on hill for 4 hours with two 30-minute warmup bodyweight workouts with squats, jumps, lunges etc.), 30-minute core workout in afternoon

Friday: Training run (on hill for 4 hours with two 30-minute warmup bodyweight workouts with squats, jumps, lunges etc.), 1-hour coordination and power workout (stair jumps, skips, speed ladder)

Saturday: Race Downhill (on hill for 5 hours with two 30-minute warmup bodyweight workouts with squats, jumps, lunges etc.), 30-minute recovery spin in afternoon

Sunday: Race Super G (on hill for 5 hours with two 30-minute warmup bodyweight workouts with squats, jumps, lunges etc.), 1-2 hour weight workout in afternoon


• All sources of proteins (eggs, meat, salmon, dairy, tofu)

• Berries, tomatoes, cherries

• 4-5 cups veggies

• 4-5 cups whole wheat grains

• 1 sea salt caramel prior to races


• “Your body is firing at 100 percent when you’re skiing, and your mind is also working at 100 percent. That combination of using your mind and body makes me feel more alive than anything else.”

• “My amazing U.S. Ski Team teammates, who know so much and have shared their knowledge and experience with me, even though at times like Olympics and World Championships we have to compete against each other. We are constantly bouncing ideas back and forth and I honestly can’t say if I would be as good as I am today without them.”

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