Shawn Johnson: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shawn Johnson
ShawnJohnson FP2.jpg

Photos taken at "Frosted Pink With a Twist" event (women's cancer benefit) held in San Diego, California on September 14th, 2008

Personal information
Full name: Shawn Machel Johnson
Country Represented: United States
Date of birth: January 19, 1992 (1992-01-19) (age 18)
Place of birth: Des Moines, Iowa
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Height: 4 feet 9 inches (145 cm)
Discipline: Women's artistic gymnastics
Level: Senior International Elite
Years on National Team: 2004 –
Club: Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Head coach(es): Liang Chow
Assistant coach(es): Liwen Zhuang
Music: August's Rhapsody from August Rush

Shawn Machel Johnson (born January 19, 1992) is an American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic women's balance beam gold medalist, the individual all-around silver medalist,[1] the 2007 all-around World Champion, and the 2007 and 2008 U.S. all-around champion.


Personal life

Johnson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the daughter and only child of Doug and Teri Johnson. Her parents enrolled her in a gymnastics class at age three after they noticed her climbing up cabinets and jumping down from tables. At the age of six, she was among the first students when Liang Chow opened a gymnastics school in West Des Moines.[2]

Johnson attends Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, entering the 2008–09 school year as a junior. Unlike most elite gymnasts who train approximately 40 hours a week and have private tutors, Johnson trains 20–25 hours a week and attends a public high school where she is currently on the A Honor Roll and takes part in numerous extra-curricular activities.[3]

Johnson took time off of public school in the spring semester of the 2008–09 school year, moving to Los Angeles, California with her mother to appear on Dancing With the Stars. She is finishing her junior year with a private tutor. She has made numerous public appearances everywhere from the MTV Movie Awards to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.


Junior career

Johnson qualified to Junior International Elite status on her first attempt. She first attracted widespread attention at the 2005 U.S. Classic, where she placed 3rd in the junior division. At the 2005 U.S. National Championships, Johnson struggled on the first day of competition, falling from the beam and on the floor. She placed tenth in the all-around.

By 2006, Johnson was ready with new skills, including a Jaeger on bars, and two top-difficulty skills: full-in beam dismount and double-twisting double back floor exercise mount. She won the 2006 U.S. Junior National All-Around Championship with a score higher than any of the senior elite competitors that year.[4]

Senior career

2007 season

Johnson entered the senior division in 2007 and continued to showcase new skills, including a double twisting double layout dismount off the uneven bars. She competed at the 2007 Tyson American Cup, winning the all-around title over teammate Natasha Kelley. Johnson also competed in the 2007 Pan American Games, winning four gold medals in the team finals, the individual all-around, and the balance beam and uneven bar finals, and the silver in the floor exercise final.

Johnson won the all-around at the 2007 Visa U.S. National Championships, beating two-time National Champion Nastia Liukin by more than 5 points and Shayla Worley by more than 3 points.

Johnson represented the U.S. at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships with teammates Nastia Liukin, Shayla Worley, Alicia Sacramone, Ivana Hong and Samantha Peszek. They won the team competition with a score of 184.400 points, 0.950 points ahead of the silver medalist Chinese team. Johnson competed on all four apparatuses in the team competition.

In the qualification round, Johnson earned a score of 16.250 on beam, 15.150 on floor exercise, and 15.175 on vault. She fell on her uneven bars dismount and scored 14.625.[5] The U.S. finished first in the qualifying round. Johnson's scores qualified her for the all-around finals, along with Liukin. Johnson also qualified to the beam and floor event finals.

In the team competition, Johnson scored 15.375 on uneven bars and floor exercise, and a 15.150 on vault. She fell on the beam on her handspring-handspring-layout series and scored 15.025. The U.S. team won the gold medal. It was the second team gold medal for the United States in the World Championships.[6]

In the individual all-around competition, Johnson performed a double-twisting Yurchenko vault and scored 15.175. She scored 15.425 on floor exercise, 15.900 on beam, and 15.375 on uneven bars. Her total score of 61.875 earned her the gold medal. She became the fourth American woman to win the all-around.

During event finals, Johnson first competed on the balance beam, where she fell on her standing full and on her switch side leap, earning a score of 14.475. She finished in last place. In floor exercise, she went out-of-bounds on her first tumbling pass, but won the gold with a score of 15.250.

2008 Summer Olympics

Johnson performs on the floor at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

At the 2008 Summer Olympics Johnson competed in all four events during the team competition,[7] in which the United States won the silver medal.[8] Johnson also won the silver medal in the individual all-around competition, receiving a score of 62.725.[9] Johnson's teammate and roommate at the Olympic Village[10], Nastia Liukin, won the gold medal, receiving a score of 63.325.[11] With Liukin taking gold and Johnson silver, this competition was the first time that the United States Women's Gymnastics team took both the gold and silver medals in the individual all-around competition; this competition also marks only the fourth time any country has won both the gold and silver medals in the individual all-around competition.[12] She won the silver medal in floor exercise, with teammate Liukin taking bronze. She did, however, win a gold medal on the balance beam apparatus.[13] Like the individual all-around, she and Liukin took the top two medals in this event.[14]

Honors and awards

Johnson was one of only two female athletes to appear on AOL's 100 most searched females on the Internet for 2009. She ranked 27th.[15][16]

A scientific poll commissioned by Forbes magazine concluded Johnson was "America's Most-Liked Sports Figure" in 2009. [17]

ESPN announced Johnson's nominations for the 2009 "Best Female U.S. Olympian" and "Best Breakthrough Performance" ESPY Awards on June 25, 2009.[18] The announcement follows Johnson's nominations for favorite "Female Reality/Variety Star" and "Athlete - Female" 2009 Teen Choice Awards.[19] Johnson eventually won the ESPY for "Best Female U.S. Olympian" and "Athlete - Female" Teen Choice Award, the latter for the second consecutive year. [20][21]

On April 15, 2009 Johnson was awarded the prestigious AAU James E. Sullivan Award.[22] The annual award honors the USA athlete who best represents "the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism."[23]

Johnson ranked fifth in the Associated Press' 2008 Female Athlete of the Year voting.[24]

Johnson was the winner of the 2008 Teen Choice Award for best female athlete, although she was not able to accept the honor in person because of Olympic training commitments.[25] She was the first gymnast to be nominated for the award.[26]

A life-sized bronze sculpture of Johnson has been placed at an exhibit honoring the gymnast at the Iowa Hall of Pride in Des Moines, Iowa.[27]

On September 7, 2007, Johnson received the "Longines Prize for Elegance" in Stuttgart, Germany, along with Japan's Hiroyuki Tomita. The prize is given in recognition of athletes who demonstrate remarkable elegance in the course of an international competition at world level; the decision was unanimous. In addition to the trophy, designed by the Swiss artist Piero Travaglini, recipients also receive a wristwatch from the Longines Evidenza collection and a check for $5,000.[28]

Following Johnson's World Championship performances in 2007, Governor Chet Culver of Iowa proclaimed October 17 "Shawn Johnson Day" in the state.[29][30]



Midwest grocery chain Hy-Vee, headquartered in Johnson's hometown of West Des Moines, ran a television ad before and during the Olympics featuring Johnson. After the Olympics, Johnson appeared in television ads and online campaigns for Ortega and McDonalds as well as print and web advertisements for CoverGirl and Secret deodorant. Johnson has also appeared on food packaging for McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Oscar Mayer Lunchables and Hy-Vee products.[31] Reports by Johnson's agent, Sheryl Shade, that Johnson would grace the Wheaties cereal box did not come to fruition.[32] Her likeness does, however, appear on a limited edition Cheerios box that appeared in January 2009.[33]

Television appearances

Johnson has appeared on many talk shows: The Today Show on NBC (October 26, 2007, August 5, 2008, and October 7, 2008), CCTV (August 20, 2008)[34], the Late Show with David Letterman (August 25, 2008), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (August 29, 2008), The Ellen DeGeneres Show (October 8, 2007, September 9, 2008 and March 12, 2009), Live with Regis and Kelly (October 22, 2008), Jimmy Kimmel Live! (May 20, 2009) and Entertainment Tonight (23 episodes, 2009). Along with other Olympians, she appeared on the season premiere of The Oprah Winfrey Show (September 8, 2008).[35][36]

Johnson made a cameo appearance on The Secret Life of the American Teenager season finale episode "Just Say No," which aired September 9, 2008.[37] Johnson has reportedly shot a second episode that will air in 2010.[38]

Johnson was a celebrity participant in the 2009 Taco Bell All-Star Legends Celebrity Softball Game which aired on ESPN July 13, 2009.[39]

Johnson appeared on the celebrity edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire on August 13, 2009. She correctly answered a question about the lyrics to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” winning $50,000 for her chosen charity, Blank Children’s Hospital.[40]

Johnson presented awards at the 2009 CMT Music Awards and the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.[36]

She was also a judge at the Miss America 2010 pageant along with Rush Limbaugh.

Gymnastic tours

From September to November 2008, Johnson was a marquee member of The Tour of Gymnastics Superstars.[41][42] Recorded sections of the tour's second show were included in Frosted Pink with a Twist, which is a television special about women's cancers (Johnson has a grandmother who is a cancer survivor).[43][44] The television special also featured singers Jesse McCartney, Kenny Loggins, and Grammy Award singers Cyndi Lauper and Carole King.[45][46] Johnson also headlined the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular in Rapid City, South Dakota, on December 23, 2008. The show aired nationally on NBC on January 18, 2009.[47]

Other projects

She led the Pledge of Allegiance on August 28, 2008 at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[44][48][49][50][51][52]

In December 2008, Johnson unveiled a book: Shawn Johnson: Olympic Champion: Stories Behind the Smile (ISBN 978-1-934417-01-0), chronicling her life story through personal photographs and quotes.[53]

On July 27, 2009, Johnson led the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field.[54]

Dancing With the Stars

In February 2009, Johnson was announced as a celebrity competitor on ABC's Dancing with the Stars season 8,[55] partnered with season 6 winner professional dancer Mark Ballas. She is the youngest competitor and winner in the history of the show. In the finale declared the tightest ever in the show's history, Johnson was declared the winner over Gilles Marini by less than 1%. She reunited with one of the host of the show Tom Bergeron at the 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee to talk about her victory.

On March 25, 2009, it was reported that a stalker had been arrested after jumping a fence and sneaking onto the CBS lot. According to court documents filed in Los Angeles, 34-year-old Robert O'Ryan was arrested with the possession of guns, duct tape, zip ties, and love letters to Johnson. Additionally, it was reported that O'Ryan left his home in Florida and traveled to California, believing that Johnson spoke to him through the television via ESP, stating that they would be together and have a child. The Johnson family received a restraining order against O'Ryan[56] and O'Ryan was charged with felony stalking and two counts of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.[57]

On April 17, 2009, she made an appearance in the music video "Do You Love Me" by Ballas Hough Band. She is seen in the music video in one of her costumes near the beginning of the season.[58]


Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/ "It is You (I Have Loved)" 8 8 7 No elimination
2 Salsa/ "Las Muchachas" 8 8 8 Safe
3 Foxtrot/ "More Than This" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Lindy Hop/ "Ready Teddy!" 8 8 9 Safe
5 Viennese Waltz/ "Ordinary Day" 9 8 9 Safe
6 Rumba/ "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" 8 9 9 Safe
7 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" 9 9 10 Safe
8 Samba/ "Get Down on It"
Team Mambo/"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
9 Quickstep/ "Friend Like Me"
Paso Doble/"Gotta Get Thru This"
10 Argentine Tango/"Asi Se Baila El Tango"
Jive/"Reet Petite"
11 Team Paso Doble/"So What"
Freestyle/"Do Your Thing"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"

Charity support

Since becoming a professional athlete Johnson has been involved with numerous charitable causes. She has served as a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis advocating awareness of women's cancers through the "What You Do Matters" campaign.[59] Johnson has also partnered with Crest toothpaste to promote dental health, passing out toothpaste to low-income people.[60] In December 2008, Johnson co-hosted a charity event with fellow Iowa native and actor Ashton Kutcher to raise money to repair areas of her home state devastated by flooding.[61] According to her Web site, Johnson also supports the "Exercise Your Character" program through speaking engagements.[62]


Current and past sponsors include:[63][64][65][66][67]


As of 2008, Johnson often competed the following skills, listed per apparatus.

  • Vault - Amanar - 2 1/2 twisting, laid out Yurchenko
  • Bars - Toe-on full pirouette; Jaeger; Gienger; bail handstand; double twisting double layout dismount.
  • Floor - Double twisting double tuck; whip immediate triple full; front full punch layout rudi; double full; tucked full-in. She also changed her music for this routine from Cilicia and Sardarapad by Ara Gevorgian to August's Rhapsody, from the soundtrack of August Rush.
  • Beam - Front Pike; standing tucked full; switch split leap to layout step out to pike back; 2 back handsprings to a back layout; full-in tuck dismount.

Competitive history

Senior career history

Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2008 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing All Around 2 62.725 1 62.725
Team 2 186.525 2 246.800
Floor Exercise 2 15.500 3 15.425
Balance Beam 1 16.225 3 15.975
Vault Did not qualify Did not qualify - 16.000 (one vault only)
Uneven Bars 11 15.325
U.S. Championships Boston All Around 1
Floor Exercise 1
Balance Beam 2
Uneven Bars 5
American Cup New York City All Around 2
Olympic trials America All Around 1
2007 World Championships Stuttgart All Around 1 61.875 3 61.200
Balance Beam 8 14.475 3 16.250
Floor Exercise 1 15.250 4 15.150
Team 1 184.400 1 245.025
Uneven Bars 41 14.625
U.S. Championships San Jose All Around 1
Balance Beam 1
Floor Exercise 1
Uneven Bars 3
Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro Team 1
All Around 1
Uneven Bars 1
Balance Beam 1
Floor Exercise 2
American Cup Jacksonville All Around 1

Junior career history

Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2006 U.S. Championships Saint Paul All Around 1
Vault 1
Balance Beam 1
Floor Exercise 1
Uneven Bars 2
Pan American Championships Gatineau, Quebec Team 1
Balance Beam 1
All Around 1
Uneven Bars 2
Floor Exercise 2
Pacific Alliance Championships Honolulu All Around 1
Team 1
Vault 1
Floor Exercise 1
Balance Beam 2
2005 U.S. Championships Indianapolis All Around 10
Vault 4
Uneven Bars 9

Floor music

  • 2008: Theme from August Rush
  • 2006: "Cilicia" and "Sardarabad" by Ara Gevorgian
  • 2005: remix of "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" by Belinda Carlisle


  1. ^ "The Official Website of the Beijing Olympic Games" August 15, 2008. Accessed on August 15, 2008
  2. ^ Johnson, Teri (2008-08-08). "My Gold Medal Girl". Family > Parenting Archive. Guideposts. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  3. ^ "Bio". Get to know Shawn. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  4. ^ Krider, Dave (2006-09-07). "Small wonder: Tiny gymnast Shawn Johnson making big waves at 14". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  5. ^ "40th World Championships Artistic Gymnastics Women". 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  6. ^ Gholson, Nick (2008-07-27). "U.S. women the team to beat in gymnastics". Times Record News. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  7. ^ "Women's Team Final Rotation Breakdown". Gymnastics. NBC. 2008-08-13. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  8. ^ "Women's Team Final". Gymnastics. NBC. 2008-08-13. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  9. ^ "Women's Individual All-Around". Gymnastics. NBC. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  10. ^ "Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin, roommates in the Olympic Village, are the yin and yang of the U.S. women's team, opposite forces who form a spectacular whole."Nancy Stockdale (2008-08-09). "Olympics: Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin 1-2 punch in the quest for gymnastics gold". Des Moines Register. 
  11. ^ "Results - All Around Women's Individual Final". The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. 2008-08-15. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  12. ^ Garcia, Marlen (2008-08-15). "U.S. takes gold, silver in all-around". Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  13. ^ "Women's Beam — Final". Gymnastics. NBC. 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  14. ^ Abrahamson, Alan (2008-08-19). "Liukin and Johnson: New power pair". Gymnastics (NBC). Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^,2933,368181,00.html
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ October 17, 2007, is "Shawn Johnson Day" in Iowa
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Olympic hero Johnson unveils book, Cheerios box". Chicago Tribune. 2008-12-13.,0,6871396.story. 
  34. ^ The Wall Street Journal: Shawn Johnson is a Star – On CCTV (August 21, 2008)
  35. ^ TV Guide: Shawn Johnson credits
  36. ^ a b
  37. ^ Fox, Erin (2008-09-04). "Olympian Shawn Johnson Gets a Secret Life". 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Carrie Peyton Dahlberg (2008-09-24). "Gold-medal gymnast touts cancer awareness". Sacramento Bee. 
  44. ^ a b Barbara-Lee Edwards (2008-09-08). "Olympic Gold Medalist Jumps Into New Challenge". KFMB-TV. 
  45. ^ "Part of a 40-city tour by the U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams combined with a one-off event to raise awareness about women's cancers. Performing with the gymnasts in San Diego only are singers Carole King, Cyndi Lauper, Jesse McCartney, Kenny Loggins and Mario. Mary Lou Retton and Scott Hamilton are the hosts." "Frosted pink with a twist". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 2008-09-13. 
  46. ^ "Olympic Star Visits NBC 7/39". NBC 7/39 (San Diego, California). 2008-09-09. 
  47. ^
  48. ^ C-SPAN video of Johnson leading the pledge at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. C-SPAN (2008-08-28). "Video: Shawn Johnson leads Pledge of Allegiance at Democratic National Convention". Des Moines Register. 
  49. ^ "Mid-morning in Invesco Field at Mile High, and the most popular celebrity in sight is gymnast Shawn Johnson. The Iowa teen took the podium in tie-dyed T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops to check out the arena where she’ll reportedly be leading the pledge of allegiance several hours from now." Stephanie Simon (2008-08-28). "Denver Convention: Inside Invesco". Wall Street Journal. 
  50. ^ "Olympian Johnson to lead pledge at DNC convention". August 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  51. ^ "Shawn Johnson to lead pledge at convention". Des Moines Register. 2008-08-28. 
  52. ^ John Carlson (2008-08-27). "Carlson: Johnson joins nation in switch from Olympics to politics". Des Moines Register. 
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^ Shawn Johnson Fan Arrested, March 25, 2009
  57. ^ Shawn Johnson Stalker Charged TMZ, March 26, 2009
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^

Video Interviews

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Brooke Burke & Derek Hough
Dancing with the Stars (US) winner
Season 8 (Spring 2009 with Mark Ballas)
Succeeded by
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson

Simple English

Shawn Johnson

Shawn Johnson on top of the all-around podium at the 2008 U.S. National Championships.

Personal information
Full name:Shawn Machel Johnson
Country Represented:United States
Date of birth:January 19, 1992 (1992-01-19) (age 19)
Place of birth:West Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Height:4 ft 9 in
Discipline:Women's Artistic Gymnastics
Level:Senior International Elite
Years on National Team:2004 –
Club:Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Head coach(es):Liang Chow
Assistant coach(es):Liwen Zhuang
Music:August's Rhapsody from August Rush

Shawn Machel Johnson (born January 19, 1992)[1][2] is an American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic women's balance beam gold medalist.

Johnson is the daughter of Doug and Teri Johnson. Her parents put her in a gymnastics class after they saw her climbing up cabinets and jumping down from tables. When she was six, Liang Chow opened a gymnastics school in her city. She was one of Chow's first students when he opened the school.


  1. "Shawn Johnson". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  2. "Shawn Johnson". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address