Sofia Goggia wins 7th consecutive downhill; Breezy Johnson clinches Olympic spot
Italian Sofia Goggia won her seventh consecutive World Cup downhill start, while American Breezy Johnson clinched a spot on her second Olympic team on Saturday.
Goggia, bidding in February to become the second skier to repeat as Olympic downhill champion, prevailed by .27 of a second over Johnson in Val d’Isere, France. Austrian Mirjam Puchner was third.
“[Goggia] is skiing phenomenally right now, so hats off to her,” Johnson said. “She knows she has to ski her best every day. If she does mess up, or she doesn’t ski perfectly, or we find a hill where her skis aren’t running or something is not as perfect, then hopefully I can be right there to take her.”
Goggia broke her tie with Lindsey Vonn and Picabo Street for the longest women’s downhill win streak in the last 40 years. Goggia missed two downhills during her run, plus last season’s world championships, after fracturing a bone in her right knee in a crash.
Only Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-Pröll had a longer streak with runs of eight and 11 wins in a row in the 1970s.
Johnson, 25, earned her third consecutive World Cup downhill runner-up to Goggia. She clinched U.S. Olympic qualifying criteria with one downhill remaining in the selection period, joining Mikaela Shiffrin on the provisional Olympic team.
Johnson was the youngest woman to finish in the top 10 in the 2018 Olympic downhill (seventh).
She missed the following season after tearing her right ACL in a training crash. Before Johnson could return to racing, she tore her left PCL and MCL in a June 2019 giant slalom practice fall.
ON HER TURF: Goggia, Johnson leave little room on podium
She ended up going 22 months between World Cups, learning to sleep for months with her knees on bolsters, then re-learning it after the second injury. She struggled with depression,
Then she returned better than before. Johnson has six World Cup downhill podiums between the last two seasons, all second- and third-place finishes.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard is not expected to officially name team members until next month. They must be approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
The women’s World Cup continues with a super-G on Sunday, including Shiffrin.
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