Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson set the sports world abuzz with news of her retirement from gymnastics.
The 20-year-old had her sights on London 2012, but a knee injury prevented her Olympic dream and forced her to say good-bye to competitive gymnastics.
“I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete. Unfortunately my road has been cut a little short,” Johnson said.
But, like a true champion, Johnson bounced back from disappointment and reinvented herself as a member of the media in London. She’s working as a correspondent for Procter & Gamble’s Thank You Mom program, which set up a family home for parents of athletes to gather and experience their child’s Olympic journey.
“It’s a lot of fun reporting for P & G at the Olympic games, in the middle of all the action! It makes the transition easier, because I’m still a part of it all. However, it’s definitely bittersweet because I’m not in there with the girls,” Shawn reveals to Healthy Hollywood.
P & G’s Thank You Mom campaign celebrates the important role moms play in raising superstars. “My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, so this campaign is close to my heart. My support system is the strongest part of my life – it’s my family and friends. I couldn’t have made it to level 2 [gymnastics], let alone the Olympics if it wasn’t for them,” adds Shawn.
Besides reporting, Shawn’s also been an on-site cheerleader for Team USA’s golden girls in gymnastics. She remembers vividly the mentally preparation it takes to be a contender, adding, “I always visualized exactly how I was going to compete. From the warm up, to the slope, to the routine, to the landing, hugging my coaches, EVERYTHING! It made me feel ready and prepared.”
As for staying in shape, Shawn still works out every day for an hour and watches her diet. “I’d have to or I’d be going crazy. I do a lot of cardio, circuit training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. I like to switch it up. In 2008 my diet for the games was very strict. After the games, I went CRAZY! I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted. Now, my diet is the same as it was when I was training. If not more regimented – just because I’m more conscious,” exclaims Shawn!
So, what’s the next world for Shawn to conquer? She plans on fulfilling of her dream of going to college in the fall of 2013. But first, she will appear on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” which returns on Monday September 24 on ABC at 8 PM. As for anything else, she heeds to her parents advice, “Everything happens for a reason I live by it. It was told to me a lot growing up.”
To check out Shawn’s coverage of the P & G’s Thank You Mom campaign, check out www.facebook.com/thankyoumom.
-- Terri MacLeod