” At only 17 years of age, Shawn Johnson has already compiled quite an impressive list of accomplishments. After taking home four medals, including a gold in balance beam, Johnson has transformed from regular teenager into a national celebrity. The Des Moines, Iowa native has already appeared in numerous ads including commercials for Ortega and McDonalds, as well as web ads for Cover Girl and even performed at the Democratic National Convention.””
At only 17 years of age, Shawn Johnson has already compiled quite an impressive list of accomplishments.
After taking home four medals, including a gold in balance beam, Johnson has transformed from regular teenager into a national celebrity.
The Des Moines, Iowa native has already appeared in numerous ads including commercials for Ortega and McDonalds, as well as web ads for Cover Girl and even performed at the Democratic National Convention.
Saturday, Johnson was in attendance for the University of Akron woman’s basketball victory over Toledo and participated in a 15 minute question and answer session at halftime.
Johnson made it very clear that she was grateful for the many opportunities that gymnastics has provided for her.
She also said that gymnastics was an important part of her life from the beginning.
I started taking up gymnastics when I was three years old, she said.
I was always way too energetic, bouncing off the walls when I was young.
Johnson said she participated in numerous sports and activities including dance and soccer, but it was clear to her that gymnastics was the right fit for her.
She also acknowledged that her success has not come easy.
I put in a lot of years of hard work, she said.
Johnson said that her training schedule for the Olympics was a rigorous one.
She spent four to five hours a day training from Monday to Friday and then worked seven hours every Saturday trying to perfect her skills for the Olympics.
Sunday, her day off involved hours of running.
Johnson let it be known that the hard work was definitely worth the pay-off.
Winning gold made me so proud, she said. It was the best feeling ever.
Much to the chagrin of the UA crowd, Johnson said she was hoping to attend Stanford University after her time as a pro-gymnast is finished.
She expressed interest in coaching the Cardinal gymnastics team, however she would not be allowed to coach while enrolled as a student.
The gold medalist said she is not sure what her immediate future in gymnastics will be.
Career-wise, I have no idea, she said. Right now, I’m taking a break.
Johnson’s idea of taking a break involves training for a marathon while continuing to work out several times a week.
Shawn says her ability to stay self-motivated and love of gymnastics are crucial to her success.
I’ve always been self-motivated and my love of the game got me where I am today, Johnson said.
As the session ended, Johnson gave advice to some of her younger admirers.
You have to enjoy what you’re doing, Johnson said. If you don’t love what you’re doing it will become too hard and stressful.
I would tell anyone to find out what they’re passionate about and stick with it.
At the conclusion of the game, a 64-62 victory over the Rockets, Johnson sat mid-court and signed autographs for hundreds of fans.
Johnson will continue to making personal appearances throughout the country as well as train for an upcoming marathon.
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