Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Athlete Profile: Breezy Johnson

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Breezy Johnson has established herself as one of the top downhill racers in the World Cup. Unfortunately, she will be out for this season because of an injury. Despite her injury, she keeps a positive attitude and is one of the most delightful female ski racers in the White Circus. One of our intrepid reporters caught up with Breezy at an undisclosed location in the States. She talks about food, her rehab, how she relieves stress, and her name. Let's find out what she has to say.

BB:  Your rise to becoming one of the top downhill racers is amazing. You have quietly worked your way up the standings in the past few seasons. What is your secret?
Johnson: A lot of hard work, waking up before the sun rises to train, listening to my trainers, and a large dose of self-belief. 
BB: Do you also eat a lot of Barilla pasta like Mikaela Shiffrin?
Johnson: I eat a healthy diet, which sometimes includes pasta. But I don't eat it at every meal. 
BB: When you travel around Europe during racing season, do you try the local foods?
Johnson: Oh yes! It makes me feel like a European and more connected to the other racers. 
BB: What is the most unusual thing that you have eaten in Europe?
Johnson: time I had Mexican food in Austria. Does that count?
BB: That's not quite what I had in mind, but I will accept that answer. I was thinking more along the lines of lamb brains while in Val d'Isere or reindeer burgers in Are.
Johnson: The reindeer burgers sound okay, but I don't think I would knowingly eat lamb brains. 
BB: I would, but we Blickbild reporters are supposed to eat strange foods because we are intrepid. (short pause) You tore your ACL and have blogged about your recovery. The most remarkable thing is that you have such a positive attitude. How do you stay so positive, especially during racing season? You remind me of the people on the crosses at the end of Life Of Brian singing, "Always look on the bright side of life." 
Johnson: I could have drowned my sorrows by drinking a lot of wine and eating junk food. But I decided to focus on recovery and a positive attitude helps.
BB: You opted not to have surgery, like Carlo Janka. Do you think that will really work?
Johnson: In Norway they do physical therapy and rehab first and then decide if surgery is necessary. Kjetil Jansrud recovered from his torn ACL by doing physical therapy first and then having surgery. Carlo regained racing fitness without surgery. I hope not to have surgery. 
BB: Kjetil also had his grandmother's ojlmsfjaegger to help. They supposedly have medicinal value. Kjetil was even kind enough to send me some to give to you to aid your recovery.
Johnson: What are they exactly?
BB: Only the most exotic food you will ever eat! Once you have a piece of Grandma Jansrud's ojlmsfjaegger, you will be begging for the recipe. 
Johnson: Let's open the box and try it. (short pause as the box is opened) Oh they smell awful! They remind me of those things that Ragnhild Mowinckel eats. I'm not eating one unless you do.
BB: I have eaten them before and lived to tell the tale. But it's your choice if you want a slower recovery from your injury and want to offend the Norwegian World Cup racers. Kjetil's grandmother took a lot of time to make these just for you. And it's not even your birthday!
Johnson: What does my birthday have to do with these things?
BB: Ojlmsfjaegger are eaten in Norway on birthdays. But since every day is someone's birthday, you can still enjoy them when it is not your birthday. You will be one of the very few Americans privileged enough to experience pickled cubes of reindeer heart covered in a special smoked salmon and chocolate sauce. Anyone can eat bland Mexican food in Austria. But very few outside Norway get to eat ojlmsfjaegger.
Johnson: I'll eat one if you will. (there is a short pause as both of them eat a piece of ojlmsfjaegger). Let's just say that this an acquired taste. Maybe my mom or my dog will like them.
BB: Speaking of your dog, is he well-trained? I see photos of you with him on social media.
Johnson: Yes, he is great!
BB: So you have trained him not to pee on your friend's carpet or go poo in the VIP tent at races?
Johnson: Whose dog would do such a thing?
BB: Lindsey Vonn's dog Lucy. Lindsey has Lucy trained to pee or go poo in every inappropriate place imaginable.  But let's move onto another subject. You like to dive into icy lakes.
Johnson: Oh yes! It is a great stress reliever.
BB: Did you ever take gymnastics or diving lessons as a child? Your form in the air is quite good.
Johnson: No, I just do what feels natural. Have you ever tried diving into an icy lake?
BB: No. 
Johnson: Wow, I am more intrepid than a Blickbild reporter!
BB: Excuse me, but nobody is more intrepid than a Blickbild reporter,  except for a member of our research team. Let's go find an icy lake and dive in. (there is a long pause as our reporter and Breezy get some towels, walk out to the nearest icy lake, strip down to their underwear, and dive in.)   
BB: (after getting out of the water and drying off)  Holy sh*t that was cold! 
Johnson: Isn't it refreshing? I bet you don't have a care the world now.
BB: You're right about that. I could not feel any stress if I tried. Any stress hormones can't move through my body because they are frozen. That is the real reason why you have no stress after diving into icy lakes.
Johnson: If you do it long enough, you get used to it and come to enjoy it. Diving into cold lakes is like eating those things from Granny Jansrud. It's an acquired thing.
BB: Are you sure that you are not a professional masochist?
Johnson: Very sure.
BB: Year after year, you remember your fans at each race venue. Do you have a little leprechaun sitting on your shoulder whispering their names in your ear?
Johnson: No, I have always been good at recognising faces.
BB: Does the US Team have a witch doctor who gave you a magic facial recognition potion?
Johnson: The US Ski Team does not have a witch doctor.
BB: Are you really a space alien from the planet Zorkon?
Johnson: Where are you coming up with these questions? No, I am not a space alien, although the way Mikaela Shiffrin skis, she could be from another planet.
BB: We at the Blickbild ask the questions that nobody else dares to ask. And it is not so far-fetched about you being a space alien. Anna Veith was recruited to be part of the ski team from the planet Zorkon. Anyway, if you want to answer normal questions, talk to people from the Jackson Hole Gazette. (short pause) So you don't feel like your body has been taken over by aliens? How else does that explain your amazing memory for your fans and love for diving into very cold lakes?
Johnson: I have always been that way, so if my body was taken over by a space alien, it must have happened when I was very young because I have no memory of it.
BB: There is one more thing that I want to talk about with you...your name. Did your parents name you Breezy because they are former hippies?
Johnson: Breezy is not my birth name. I legally changed my name to Breezy a few years ago. My parents named me something else.
BB: Were you inspired by the 1973 film Breezy, starring William Holden and Kay Lenz, which is about a romance between a 50-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl named Breezy?
Johnson: I never heard of that movie. It sounds like the man was either just plain creepy or a pedophile.
BB: In the film Breezy's friends think that her man is creepy, while the man's friends tell him, "You have a 17-year-old girlfriend! You rock!" But all in all, it got bad reviews.
Johnson: I think I'll pass on watching that movie. But let's have some fun. If you can guess my birth name within 10 tries, I will eat all the rest of those reindeer and fish things. But if you can't guess it, they are all yours. I'll even give you a hint. It starts with a B, so we can eliminate names like Gertrude, Mildred, Gladys, or Agnes.
BB: You're on! Brunhilde?
Johnson: No.
BB: Bertha? 
Johnson: No.
BB: Beulah? Beatrice?
Johnson:  No and no. You have six more guesses left.
BB: Babette? Blickbildia?
Johnson: Nice tries, but no. Blickbildia? Really? Four more guesses.
BB: Maybe your parents liked us so much that they named you after us. Everyone loves the only ski racing satire site on the Internet. People name their kids London, Madison,  and Brooklyn because they love those places so much. 
Johnson: But I was born before the Blickbild was founded. Keep guessing.
BB: Bessie? Beverly?
Johnson: Not even close! Two more tries.
BB: Bronwyn?
Johnson:  No!  Last chance.
BB: Brumplestilskin?
Johnson: Brumplestilskin?
BB: Well, Rumplestilskin worked in the fairy tale, but you said that your birth name starts with a B. So I combined them. 
Johnson: Unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale. And the name my parents originally gave me certainly was not Brumplestilskin. But you were a good sport and win the box of reindeer hearts.
BB: You're not going to tell the world your real name, are you?
Johnson: Yes I will. It's Breezy.
BB: You got me there. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with us and going for a dip in the lake. We at the Blickbild wish you a full recovery and we are hoping to see you on the race pistes next season. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview. 

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