Haley naturally got involved in the Lake Placid Ski Club youth programs through NYSEF, where she developed an affinity for skiing, especially downhill. She went on to attend the nearby National Sports Academy to pursue alpine skiing at a higher level.
"It turned out that I really wasn't having fun with it anymore," Johnson said, "and at the same time, my Earth Science teacher, also the local NYSEF Nordic coach, Kris Cheney-Seymour, urged and encouraged me to give cross-country a try. I did, loved it, and made an immediate switch."
From there, she picked up biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting.
"I liked biathlon, mainly because it is something that I was then able to continue throughout the winter and train for in Lake Placid," she said.
Johnson said growing up in the Olympic Village provided just the right people and facilities to fuel her interest in traditional winter sports.
"I not only skied, but also tried speed skating and figure skating," she said. "I could have even pursued one of the sliding sports if I desired."
Biathlon stuck, however, and Johnson continued to compete while attending college in Maine. As her skills developed and she began qualifying for more international competitions, she gained more financial support and decided to train full-time at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.
Johnson said competing overseas and traveling to other ski towns throughout the world has given her even more of an appreciation for the Adirondacks.
"After spending time training in Sweden, while at college, and in northern Maine, it was great to return home," said Johnson. "I've always believed that local support is the best support. Living at the Training Center also makes it affordable to train back here. And now I know I am training in the best place possible."