Winning Balance

By: Shawn Johnson

Shawn Johnson

Shawn Johnson is an Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics. She performed an outstanding beam routine in the 2008 Olympics, which therefore led to a gold medal. But the road to that destination was not easy. Shawn had started gymnastics at a local gym in Iowa. She went there for about three years. One day Shawn's coach went up to her mom and told her that Shawn had lots of energy, but not enough talent. Finally, Shawn's mom decided to bring her to a gym called, Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute. This was the gym that would bring her to the Olympics. At the age of six years old, Shawn was put on team. On team, there are 10 levels which go from 1-10. As you progress in your skills, you will move up levels. Shawn was put at level five. From there, she took off. In 2006, Shawn was on her way to the Olympics. She trained at Karolyi's camp (where all Olympians have to train.) She trained there until it was time to go to Beijing in 2008. Shawn's biggest competitor was one of her closest friends, Nastia Liukin. The order team USA was competing in at the Olympic Games was, the floor exercise, vault, the uneven bars, then last but certainly not least was the balance beam. The balance beam was Shawn's last chance to win a gold medal... and she did. The award placements were like this for team USA... On vault in third place was Alicia Sacramone. On the uneven bars... In second place was Nastia Liukin. On balance beam... In first place was Shawn Johnson, and in second place was Nastia Liukin. Finally on floor... In second place was Shawn Johnson, and in third place was Nastia Liukin. For all the scores combined, the person who came in first was, Nastia Liukin. Shawn Johnson came in a close second. Although being an Olympian gave Shawn lots of attention, she didn't let that get to her. After the Olympics, she pictured her self as just a normal person. In January 2010, Shawn went out to the mountains to go on a ski trip. Shawn suffered a terrible knee injury. She had torn her ACL, MCL, meniscus, and hamstring. Still to this day Shawn is still recovering. Shawn Johnson gave everything she did her all, and that's why people still love her to this day.
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This is an image/video of Shawn Johnson competing in the 2008 Olympics.

Shawn Johnson - Olympics Events Finals Balance Beam 2008 Beijing NBC

Shawn Johnson's Special Prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep.

My heart is your to find, to seek.

You keep me up safe and hold me tight,

Helping me decide what's right.

You watch me fall but help me up,

Never wanting to disrupt

Life's set path to which I face.

Destiny has its own set pace.

You give me wings and help me fly,

But always keep your distance-why?

Major Skills Shawn Johnson Competed In Her Beam Routine:

Some major skills Shawn competed on beam (in order) were:

Back handspring, back handspring, back layout

Front pike

Back tuck full

Switch leap, back layout step out, back layout

Switch side

Split jump, pike jump, back tuck

Round off, full in


Some major skills Shawn competed on beam (in order) were:

Back Handspring= An acrobatic move which a person lunges headfirst from an upright position into a vertical position and then pushing off from the floor with the hands so you can leap back to an upright position.

Back layout=Taking off two feet, rotates in a straight body position, then lands again on the feet

Front pike=Flips forward in a pike position, then lands on feet

Back tuck full=Twists backwards in a tuck shape in a full circle, the lands back on feet

Switch leap=Begins with one leg in front of the other then switches in mid air

Back layout step out=Taking off two feet, rotates in a straight body position, then lands on one foot then the other

Switch side= Begins with one leg in front of the other then switches to a straddle in mid air

Split jump=Jumps in the air then splits their legs

Pike jump=Jumps in the air then leans their chest to their feet

Back tuck= Taking off two feet, rotates in a tuck position, then lands again on the feet

Round off=Twists the hands and shoulders as the hands are placed on the ground while two feet are placed together on the ground

Full in= Full-twisting double back (two flips backwards) with the twist happening in the first flip

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