Sprinter Michael Johnson to cheer U.S. Ski Team men in France

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 11, 2009 1:00 am

The U.S. Ski Team men have been in Val d’Isere, France for a few days, prepping for this weekend’s World Cup. Thursday, they received a bit of a surprise when four-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time World Champion sprinter Michael Johnson showed up at their pre-race meeting.

Johnson is in Val d’Isere filming a documentary for the British Broadcasting Corporation on downhill racing. He interviewed the U.S. Ski Team’s Scott Macartney along with men’s Head Coach Sasha Rearick earlier in the afternoon, and stayed to chat with the rest of the Team. 

“This is a big year coming up with Vancouver and preparation is everything. I’m sure this weekend is a part of your preparation for Vancouver,” Johnson told the athletes. “But the way I approached my sport was that every day was an opportunity to get better. So that when I get to the championship and I’m there on the line, I don’t have to worry about it, because I know I’m ready and all I have to do at that point is execute what I know I can already do.”

The men were happy to have the advice, and pleased to be in the presence of such a successful star. ”It was fun just chatting with him, the interview probably lasted about 20 minutes, but I think we spent most of the time just talking,” said Macartney. “He got into skiing when he retired and it’s cool to have a guy with his level of success talk about how he approaches things.”

“He provided great insight for any sport really, especially for alpine,” added Tommy Ford (Bend, OR). “When we’re on course, the only one we’re racing is ourselves. So much of being fast is believing that you can perform to the level of your preparation.”

Johnson plans to stick around all weekend, cheering on the U.S. Ski Team. The Super Combined is today, followed by the Super G Saturday and GS on Sunday.


photo: Haney/USSA