Race/PerformanceNordic News

    2010 Olympian Haley Johnson Announces Retirement

    2010 Olympian Haley Johnson (Lake Placid, N.Y.) has announced her retirement from the U.S. Biathlon National Team.

    Capping a 20-year career in ski racing and 14-year career in biathlon, Johnson had a season of personal bests in 2010-2011.This season, Johnson reached personal best ski times and shooting percentages, qualified for the U.S. World Cups in Maine, qualified for the 2011 World Championship Team, competed in the Final World Cup in Oslo, Norway, where she had a personal best of three top 30 results in one week, which included qualifying for the prestigious final World Cup Mass Start (top 30 women). In Oslo, Johnson was one of two US Women - along with teammate Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) - who started in that Mass Start race. This was a historic achievement and benchmark for women's biathlon in the U.S. Reaching personal best results continued as Johnson finished the year ranked 58th on the World Cup points list and qualified for the 2011-2012 Women's A Team.

    "I am honored to have represented Lake Placid and our country through US Biathlon nationally and internationally over the last 14 years. I am so grateful I had the right people at the right time in Lake Placid to inspire me to give Nordic skiing and biathlon a try. I would have never of thought I was making such a formative life decision. I look back on my career with only joy and appreciation for what I have accomplished and for all of those who have helped me along the way. I'd like to thank everyone who's been involved in the entire journey. I couldn't have made it this far without the entire support system that I have," said Johnson.

    " It has been a pleasure to have Haley with the team," said Jonne Kahkonen, head coach of the U.S. Biathlon women's team. "For me, it was only this last year of her career, but I was thrilled that the year was the best of Haley's career and especially the way she fought her way through to make it to the team at the World Championships in Russia, and further on to the World Cup final, and finishing off with excellent results there. Haley has been a perfect example of putting in the hard work to succeed in this tough sport and at the same time, committing to give something back to the community and the team that has been supporting her. It is a loss for the US Biathlon Team to let Haley go, but at the same time, it's like always when there are changes it gives a chance for the younger athletes to fill in the boots' and to take the next step towards the international excellence," he added.

    "She called me last week and told me about her decision, and in one sense I was thrilled for her, that her career ended on such a very high note, getting to go in the World Cup mass start race [in Oslo], that's just wonderful," said U.S. Biathlon Association President and CEO Max Cobb. "At the same time we're going to miss her terribly. She was part of the biathlon family for a very, very long time, and representing the sport and country and herself so well. It's going to be a bit of an empty feeling without her on the team. If she's ready to move on, I'm excited for her, and we talked about her willingness to continue to be involved in the sport," added Cobb.

    Johnson has moved to Colorado to pursue both personal and educational endeavors. "I truly believe in the next pursuits of personal excellence in other areas of life. I am looking forward to moving to Denver,completing my bachelor's degree at the University of Denver, getting married and continuing to ski. My connection to skiing and biathlon will manifest in new ways over the next few years, and through this transition I am excited to help USBA in new and more supportive roles," she added.

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