American gymnast Shawn Johnson was born in Des Moines, Iowa on January 19, 1992. Sixteen years later, she won gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics, which took place in Beijing, China. After winning season 8 of Dancing with the Stars in 2009, Johnson began training for the 2012 Summer Olympics. However, the athlete's Olympic hopes came to end in June 2012, when she announced that she would be retiring from competitive gymnastics due to a complications with a years-long knee injury.
Born on January 19, 1992, in Des Moines, Iowa, Shawn Johnson is the only child of parents Doug and Teri Johnson. She was an energetic child, and Johnson's parents enrolled her in gymnastics when she was only three years old. A few years later, she began practicing with instructor Liang Chow at his training facility in Des Moines.
Going for Gold
Johnson excelled at gymnastics from a young age. It wasn't long after Chow began coaching Johnson that he knew she would be a viable Olympics competitor. After years of tedious training on the floor and balance beam, Johnson finally met the age requirement to compete in the Olympics in 2008, when she turned 16.
Hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide watched as Johnson won four gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics, which took place in Beijing, China. Johnson was named the women's balance beam gold medalist, scoring 16.225 points. She also won three silver medals for the women's gymnastics team competition, individual all-around competition and floor exercise.
Life After Beijing
Following the Beijing Olympics, in 2009, Johnson competed on season 8 of Dancing with the Stars, and won. Her participation on the show brought her wide acclaim. Johnson is slated to make a return to the hit show in 2012, for season 15: Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars.
In early 2010, Johnson tore her ACL, a major knee ligament, while she was skiing and was forced to undergo reconstructive knee surgery. Only four months later, she announced her plans to begin training for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. However, Johnson's Olympic hopes came to end in June 2012, when she announced that she would be retiring from competitive gymnastics. Johnson had torn the ACL and MCL of her left knee in the years prior to her announcement, and said in June that she did not believe her knee would be able to withstand the wear of Olympic training.
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