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Johnson gets second-career podium in Czech

The U.S. Ski Jumping Team's Alissa Johnson is making it a season to remember, landing her second-career podium with third place in a Continental Cup on what will be the site of the first World Championship for women's ski jumping in Liberec, Czech Republic, on Saturday.
    "Things went well today. It was a very good competition," Johnson said. "You had to jump really far both times to be up there so it was really fun and it was exactly what the sport needed to accelerate."
     

The U.S. Ski Jumping Team's Alissa Johnson is making it a season to remember, landing her second-career podium with third place in a Continental Cup on what will be the site of the first World Championship for women's ski jumping in Liberec, Czech Republic, on Saturday.
    "Things went well today. It was a very good competition," Johnson said. "You had to jump really far both times to be up there so it was really fun and it was exactly what the sport needed to accelerate."
    Less than a month ago, Johnson earned her first podium finish when she won a Continental Cup in September. For her second podium finish, she said she learned from her jumps on Friday and used it to push her ahead.
    "I knew after yesterday that I just needed to change a couple of things and that the jumps would be good," Johnson said. "So, today I tried to relax and do those things and it went really well for me. It felt good."
    Germany's Ulrike Graessler, who won on Friday in Liberec, also won Saturday's event, followed by Canadian Nata de Leeuw in second. Johnson's teammate Lindsey Van finished fourth.
    "Today it was windy, but I happened to get lucky twice in a row so I'll take what I can get," Van said. "I think it was a really good showing of the girls' jumping."
    The women will return to Liberec Feb. 20 for the historic inaugural women's ski jumping World Championship event. But, according to Johnson, the fact that she was on the podium at the soon-to-be Worlds venue will be something she tries not to think about in the coming months.
    "Of course that thought ran through my mind but I try not to let it overwhelm me too much," Johnson said. "I really like the hill. It's different and it was a lot of fun. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself but I know I can do it."
    The women now return to the U.S. for the U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships Oct. 11, which will be held on dry land—a first in the event's history.

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