Posts tagged "Shawn Johnson"

Olympic medalist announces retirement from competitive gymnastics

By Emily Barker  |  BSU at the Games

Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson, 20, announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics Sunday due to a knee injury from a ski accident in 2010. An athlete with a promising career, Johnson left the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with four medals, the most won by any Team USA member after Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin and Natalie Coughlin.

Four-time Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson will retire from gymnastics before the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete and help the USA team at the London Olympics,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey.”

Johnson is retiring days before the Visa Championships, which will be held June 7 through 10 in St. Louis, and the Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif. on July 1.

“I am announcing this now so that the focus for the next three weeks will be on the incredibly talented gymnasts who are trying to make our 2012 Olympic Team,” Johnson said. “I have had the honor to train and compete with them, and I am excited to join the gymnastics family and fans in cheering them on to victory. I will be there with every ounce of pride and energy to cheer on my girls and Team USA.”

Several strong contenders compete for the five spots on the Olympic team, including 2008 team members Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone and Bridget Sloan, as well as Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglass and Rebecca Bross.

 

Information provided by the Associated Press.

Emily Barker is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team @EmPBarker@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Former tumbler in awe of Olympic gymnasts

As a former gymnast myself, I was most excited about having the opportunity to talk to some of the U.S.’s top gymnasts at the Media Summit in Dallas. Even though we had been waking up early the past few days, I felt full of energy because the atmosphere was so exciting.

Having the chance to talk to Olympians Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson and Jonathan Horton was a dream come true. In 2008 I watched them compete in Beijing and saw them win their medals, so it was an honor to be in the same room with them. At first talking to them was extremely intimidating because they are such a big deal to me, but after a few minutes they just felt like regular people.

When I was watching the 2008 Olympic Games, I was 16 years old, the age of many of the contenders for a spot on the 2012 team. They are only in high school, and yet they have the chance to represent the United States in the biggest athletic event in the world. That blows my mind.

Jordyn Wieber, 16, said the pressure doesn’t really get to her because she competes all the time and she is ready for the trials. This was the case with several of the athletes; they handle their nerves like veterans, yet they are only teenagers.

Dallas has been such an amazing experience for me and I am even more excited about getting to London in July.

Emily Barker  |  Sports Reporter

@empbarker