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Johnson Announces Official Retirement
(16 votes, average 4.31 out of 5)

World and Olympic champion Shawn Johnson (U.S.) officially announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics Sunday, saying a problematic knee will not let her continue her quest to make a second Olympic team.


Shawn Johnson (U.S.)

"I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics," Johnson said in a statement released by USA Gymnastics. "Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey."

Johnson, the 2007 world all-around champion, won the gold medal on balance beam at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she also won silver medals with the team, in the all-around and on floor exercise. She took time off from gymnastics following her Olympic success, turning into a reality show champion with a victory on "Dancing with the Stars."

She suffered a torn ACL while skiing in 2010, but returned to competition in 2011, helping the U.S. win the team title at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

The Iowa native had been expected to compete at this week's U.S. championships in St. Louis. Gymnasts with strong performances in St. Louis will be invited to the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of June in San Jose, Calif.

"I am announcing this now so the focus for the next three weeks will be on the incredibly talented gymnasts who are trying to make our 2012 Olympic Team," Johnson said. "I have had the honor to train and compete with them, and I am excited to join the gymnastics family and fans in cheering them on to victory. I will be there with every ounce of pride and energy to cheer on my girls and Team USA."

Johnson said she will travel to London to support the U.S. team this summer. She recently penned a memoir, "Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams," set to be released Tuesday.

"Looking to the future, I have many goals and plans I want to pursue," Johnson said. "I am going to college, want to work with philanthropic foundations, and hope to inspire new generations to follow their own dreams and pursue their passions. I also will continue to be involved in the growth of gymnastics because it has been an important part of my life for 15 years. I am very excited about starting the next part of my journey."

Comments (8)add comment

alexandra_m said:

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Bye Johnson
Good luck. We will be following you anyway, lol
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +6

hobbes said:

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...
I was just wondering if anybody thinks Steve Penny told her to retire because she signed Chellsie's petition?
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +15

sa said:

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I think she just wanted to retire in a graceful way. She hasn't performed a lot this year and her knee might not be able to make through two competitions close together - championships and olympic trials. I wish Memmel had decided to go this route as well. I understand many of the gymnasts from 2008 want to be on the olympic team, but I also wish they would allow the younger, very talented gymnasts have their chance.
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +2

Kylie Pollard said:

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:(
Good on her for having the guts to exit in such a graceful way. On a side note, now that she's not competing at Nationals there's one spot vacant....why not let Chellsie fill it?!
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +0

janet matthews said:

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shawn's retirement
smilies/cry.gifi am really sorry to hear this news. she is a great competitor. i wish her all the luck in what ever she decides to do in her life.
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +2

dragonair said:

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I'm sad to hear that she retired, but it was just a matter of time. her gymnastics just didn't improve and she didn't have any chance. It's so nice of her to be honest to herself and her possibilities/limitations and let the other girls to be one step closer to the olympics.
And yeah, I'd also love to see Chellsie at nationals now that there's one free spot. I'm not expecting her to make olympic team but I just want to see her compete once again.
 
June 04, 2012
Votes: +4

Rachel T said:

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Age not a factor
In response to comments " let the young ones have their chance," I have to say if you are good than you are good and let nothing or no one stand in your way. We want the BEST to represent the United States, not how old they are. In addition, nothing in the final decision should be politically motivated (which often times is). No one should be petitioned in and should come down to the competition scores. The depth of talent is so deep and that would be the only fair way.
 
June 04, 2012
Votes: +0
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