Tragically, such dreams flatted for Johnson the moment she was hit, spiraling the young athlete into two years of depression with the knowledge that her ambitions had been cut short. With a left knee that had been shattered in the collision, Johnson’s bright future was suddenly and painfully uncertain.
That, however, was 27 years ago. This year, as the Calgary Sun reported, her restored athletic prowess is taking the Calgary cyclist on a different kind of adventure.
In the decades since her accident, a steady regimen of training and a healthy measure of determination has Johnson taking on a big challenge. And though the Olympic ambitions she once held may not be in the cards any longer, years of working with youth—particularly underprivileged youth—have focused that game on an equally Olympian pursuit: taking to the saddle and the open road to cover 7,000 km across Canada, as part of the Sea to Sea Cycling Challenge to end poverty.
Speaking with the Calgary Sun, Johnson described what’s ahead.
“My commitment is to cycle 7,000 km and my fundraising goal is $12,000,” Johnson said, looking ahead to the start of her ride on June 26 in White Rock, B.C. Noting her experience working in anti-poverty circles, helping youth in places like Africa, Southeast Asia and South America, the Alberta cyclist said that putting her athleticism at the service of others is a natural outcome. As she told the Sun, “[it] became who I was.”
As of press time, Johnson has about $7,000 to go before meeting her $12,000 fundraising target.