By Emily Barker | BSU at the Games
Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson, 20, announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics Sunday due to a knee injury from a ski accident in 2010. An athlete with a promising career, Johnson left the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with four medals, the most won by any Team USA member after Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin and Natalie Coughlin.
“I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete and help the USA team at the London Olympics,” Johnson said. “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 is retiring days before the Visa Championships, which will be held June 7 through 10 in St. Louis, and the Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif. on July 1.
“I am announcing this now so that 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.”
Several strong contenders compete for the five spots on the Olympic team, including 2008 team members Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone and Bridget Sloan, as well as Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglass and Rebecca Bross.
Information provided by the Associated Press.
Emily Barker is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team @EmPBarker, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.