Is Shawn Going To Retire?

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I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
I found this via the usa gymnastics website. Its from the LA Times.

BEIJING 2008 / GYMNASTICS;
Going separate waysDiane Pucin, Times Staff Writer

BEIJING -- This is the difference between being the women's gymnastics all-around gold medalist and the balance beam gold medalist:
All-around winner Nastia Liukin held a small post-Olympics news conference at a palace in a garden. Balance beam winner Shawn Johnson did hers in Interview Room No. 4 at the main press center and shared that room with men's high bar silver medalist Jonathan Horton.
Liukin, 18, of Parker, Texas, leaves these Olympics with five medals -- a gold, three silvers and a bronze -- and with the feeling she will be back competing at least for the 2009 world championships.
She is going home today, and a welcoming party is being scheduled for her at the Dallas airport. She will be on the Jay Leno show next week and has begun participating in several new ad campaigns. Her image is on Visa ATM machines in the athletes' village, and she is talking about competing in the 2009 world championships and adding to her total of nine world medals.
Johnson, 16, of West Des Moines, Iowa, leaves with four medals -- a gold and three silvers -- and a road map of her future that may not necessarily include competitive gymnastics.
She is planning some shopping, a trip to the Great Wall and a march in the closing ceremony. She will probably take this semester off from high school, the first of her junior year, so she can participate in a planned gymnastics tour. But after that she seems lukewarm about competing.
"It's hard to think about four more years," Johnson said. "After not winning the all-around, it hit me pretty hard, not that I got the silver, but just all my emotions came out. I was training to win gold. I'm just proud of myself that I kept my head up."
And maybe, in light of all the discussions about the inclusion of possibly underage Chinese gymnasts, Bruno Grandi, president of the international gymnastics federation, had a purpose in stressing his desire to see the sport's artistic side given as much weight as the technical side.
Grandi gave his speech the day before the women's competition started, and those words sounded a little hollow when he also was adamant that his federation had no willingness to investigate well-sourced allegations that three of the Chinese female gymnasts do not meet the requirement that an Olympic competitor turn 16 during the year of the Games. But he said he was worried about whether his sport had turned too far in the direction of acrobatics. "I fear the sport is moving too far away from its good balance," Grandi said.
After powering through a rookie season in 2007 that included winning every all-around competition she entered and after beating Liukin during the four rounds of trials competitions that helped pick the U.S. women's team, Johnson lost the medal she most wanted -- Olympic all-around gold -- to Liukin.
Liukin is 5 feet 3 and 99 pounds, and finished with a growth spurt that added about 4 inches in a year. Johnson is 4 feet 9 and 90 pounds, and may still be growing. Those growth spurts can be hard to deal with. Liukin's father and coach, Valeri, said when his daughter sprouted two years ago, she began hitting the floor with her legs on spin moves around the uneven bars.
Johnson's powerful tumbling was the signature of her silver-medal floor exercise routine and gold-medal balance beam performance. Liukin's lithe daintiness and the dance training she received from her mother, Anna, a former Russian rhythmic gymnast, were the hallmarks of her uneven bars work, her silver-medal performance on the balance beam and her sweeping floor exercise work.
After the team qualifying competition, Johnson's coach, Liang Chow, wondered whether Johnson had been underscored on some routines and said the same thing after the team medal competition.
"I'm not sure where all of the deductions came from," Chow said. It wasn't a complaint as much as consternation. It seemed the same routines that won Johnson three gold medals at last year's world championships were receiving scores a little bit lower.
Valeri Liukin said one reason his daughter may stick around at least for another world championship cycle is that the sport's code of points will become more favorable to Nastia's style.
After each Olympics, the international federation officials reevaluate how they want to score routines.
Since Athens, when the so-called perfect 10 formula was dropped in favor of a system that gives a pair of scores based first on degree of difficulty and then execution, there has been the feeling among some coaches and gymnasts that high-risk tricks would replace the element of elegance.
Valeri Liukin said Wednesday that he understood the new code of points would require fewer athletic tricks and allow more room for connecting moves. Was that a reaction to the tiny tots from China who led their team to the gold medal? Liukin said he didn't know, but whatever the reason, his daughter seems still to be in the medal-winning business.
Johnson just wants to go on tour and have fun.


I really hope she doesn't, she is fantastic just now and I'd love to see what new skills she'd be able to do in a few years.
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Shawn repeatedly said that she "would give anything" to go to London in 2012, so she didn't really strike me as having made any final decisions yet. A lot will happen in that time - she will have graduated from high school for one, so it would be saying a lot for her to have made a committed decision at this point.
 

lemonsnaps154332

New Member
Aug 12, 2008
20
Poor Shawn, it must be hard working so hard for something and winning it in every other competition and then be so close in the competition you really want but then come up short. I think if I were her I would go, whats the point of sticking around if you have already competed in the most important event?
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Poor Shawn, it must be hard working so hard for something and winning it in every other competition and then be so close in the competition you really want but then come up short. I think if I were her I would go, whats the point of sticking around if you have already competed in the most important event?

I am sure that Shawn is disappointed that she took silver instead of gold but she does not strike me as the type to take that as a reason to stop competing. I got the impression from the interview I saw that she is very interested in 2012, but wants to take time to decide if she wants another 4 years of pushing herself to the limit physically and mentally. And who can blame her for that.
 
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californiaaaa017

I read an article where she was considering staying! So is Nastia, basically because she wants the record for worlds medals, and Chellsie too!


"Chellsie has announced that she has unfinished business and will continue her gymnastics career for at least another year. Chellsie will be performing in the post-Olympics tour (through mid-November) and then will resume training. My guess is she will shoot for the 2009 World Championships, scheduled to be held in London."

Alicia suggested she might try diving.
 
G

greyhoundrescue

I think Shawn's being pretty wise in wanting to take a little time before she decides. I've read (and saw) in interviews her excitement abut the tour. When she returns back home, I could see her taking off for a bit. Like a lot of kids her age who stop doing something that once so dominated their lives, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if, after a little break, she realized she couldn't stay away. Who knows, though. Kudus to her mom and dad for letting her be the one in the driver's seat, though. I'm secretly hoping she keeps competing, though :)
 
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gracefulone

Alicia could be the next Alex Croak (from Australia)! She competed as a gymnast in the 2000 games, then as a diver in 2008. That'd be cool!
 

TDiver

Member
Jul 21, 2007
133
TN
I hope Shawn continues at least another year. She is such an amazing gymnast and seems like an amazing person as well. If she decides she wants to be done, I respect that as well. She has accomplished so much at just 16!!

Also where did you hear that Alicia wanted to try diving?! That's really neat. Kimiko Soldati started at age 17 or 18 and competed in the 2004 Olympic games for USA. She was a former gymnast that got hurt that switched over, sounds familiar with the sport of diving. Everyone is a former gymnast or started at like 4 or 5!

Good luck to the whole USA team in making their decisions.
 

midwestgymmom

Active Member
Aug 27, 2006
661
midwest
Also where did you hear that Alicia wanted to try diving?! That's really neat. Kimiko Soldati started at age 17 or 18 and competed in the 2004 Olympic games for USA. She was a former gymnast that got hurt that switched over, sounds familiar with the sport of diving. Everyone is a former gymnast or started at like 4 or 5!

Good luck to the whole USA team in making their decisions.

There was an interview with her on NBC olympics.com that she said she's been hanging out with the divers and they are trying to convince her to try diving and she said you never know she just might.


I cant wait to see what the girls decide to do- a lot of things can happen in 4 yrs with the sport and themselves. I think its way to early to decide who knows if they would lower the age limit how many girls are out there now who would be really strong then If Nastia or Shawn would decide to specialize more as they get older.

After the team qualifying competition, Johnson's coach, Liang Chow, wondered whether Johnson had been underscored on some routines and said the same thing after the team medal competition.
"I'm not sure where all of the deductions came from," Chow said. It wasn't a complaint as much as consternation. It seemed the same routines that won Johnson three gold medals at last year's world championships were receiving scores a little bit lower.
Valeri Liukin said one reason his daughter may stick around at least for another world championship cycle is that the sport's code of points will become more favorable to Nastia's style.

Dont get me wrong I love Nastia's style and all but I hope gymnastics doesnt turn in to cookie-cutter Nastia's I think we need a balance of both to keep it interesting.
 
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californiaaaa017

She hinted at in a video on NBC Olympics! But I think she was kidding.
 
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NYgymfan

I hope shawn sticks around for another year at least. Maybe she might have a change of heart. I understand it is frustrating to not win the gold when you trained so hard for it. But that in and of itself shouldn't be reason to quit. If anything, that should be reason to try even harder in the future. On the other hand, it would be a shame for her to get burnt out. Her attitude and spirit will make her very successful in life. Maybe retiring young and un-injured would be a good thing so she can persue other interests or become a coach or something like that. I have a lot of respect for shawn, and I sure would miss her gymnastics if she retired.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
The parent in me says retire.

Go to homecoming and prom. Do a team sport with your friends at school, just for fun. Hang out. You really are only young once, you have nothing left to prove to anybody, and you should have enough endorsement money to pay back the two mortgages and still go to any college you want.
 
There was an interview with her on NBC olympics.com that she said she's been hanging out with the divers and they are trying to convince her to try diving and she said you never know she just might.


I cant wait to see what the girls decide to do- a lot of things can happen in 4 yrs with the sport and themselves. I think its way to early to decide who knows if they would lower the age limit how many girls are out there now who would be really strong then If Nastia or Shawn would decide to specialize more as they get older.



Dont get me wrong I love Nastia's style and all but I hope gymnastics doesnt turn in to cookie-cutter Nastia's I think we need a balance of both to keep it interesting.

I don't think anyone could copy nastia's style.
 

Jamarie

Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
109
Iowa
I hope she doesn't retire yet. She is a great role model, excellent student attending public high school and DOES go to school dances, football games, etc. I can't wait to see what she says on David Letterman tonight. And I can't wait to see her tomorrow night as us Iowans welcome her home!!!
 
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gymnast695

Member
Aug 15, 2008
296
USA
awwe i hope shawn doesnt retire!! i love her and lovee watching herr! she is too good to just like stop gymnastics! :[ i hope she becomes a coach or something if she does retire!
 

all-aroundgirl

Active Member
Aug 26, 2008
646
Texas
Who Knows?

Who knows what will happen. She said if she could get the same feeling that she got for Beijing she would go. With gymnastics it's hard. Look at Carly. 2004 and then she was done. It's harder to keep your body up. That's why I also swim. It allows me more option if I get injured in gymnastics or burnt out.
 
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