Gold medal winning gymnast, Shawn Johnson has decided to forgo any attempts at getting back on the mat and has announced her retirement. Once labeled the next Mary Lou, a knee injury was setting her back in her attempts to try out for a spot at the London games, so she decided to put an end to it.
Her announcement comes just 4 days before the start of the US Gymnastics championship. Johnson won four medals at the Beijing games in 2008 and decided to take some time off. In her down time, she competed on Dancing With The Stars and had several cameos on assorted television shows. A ski accident in 2010 where she blew out her knee is the reason for her announcement. She had torn the ACL, MCL and meniscus, along with her hamstring, and it never returned to full strength.
Training for the Olympics became increasingly difficult, she is quoted saying there were days when she knew she wasn’t going to be able to work out due to the swelling.
Johnson on leaving her passion behind:
It’s been a really hard decision. How can you tell yourself, ‘No, I think it’s time to say it’s finally done? I’d like to be 30 and have kids and run around with them. It became more about my future life than this future one moment. I’m looking at the bigger picture of things.
It just little by little gets worse and worse. My body is to the point where I need time to rest and retire so I can be healthy for the rest of my life. It’s hard to wrap my mind around. Gymnastics has been my entire life, and now it’s no more.
Johnson is just 20 years old. You may still see her in London, supporting her fellow Americans. This time, it will just be from the sidelines.