Olympic Gold Medal-Winning Gymnast & Dancing With The Stars Champion
American gymnast Shawn Johnson is an Olympic gold medalist, a New York Times best-selling author and a “Dancing with the Stars” winner.
Hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide watched as a 16-year-old Johnson won four medals including gold on the balance beam at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Her first book, “Shawn Johnson: Olympic Champion-Stories Behind the Smile,” was published in January 2009 and in April of that year, Johnson was named the 79th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Sullivan Award recipient, one of the U.S.’s most prestigious honors in amateur sports. At the age of 17, she became the youngest-ever contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” which she went on to win in May 2009.
Dancing With The Stars
Johnson was so popular with the “Dancing with the Stars” audience that in 2012 she was invited back for “Dancing with the Stars: All Stars” where she again made it to the finale, finishing 2nd.
After a two-year hiatus from competitive gymnastics, Johnson returned to training in 2010 in an effort to make the 2012 Olympic Team. Just weeks before the Olympic Trials, she was forced to withdraw due to injury and retired from the sport.
In June 2012, Johnson’s second book Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far About Love, Faith and Living Your Dreams, was published and quickly became a New York Times Best Seller.
In 2014, Johnson, who struggled with an eating disorder leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympics, launched TheBodyDepartment.com, a website dedicated to offering an outlet where people can talk about body image, wellness and fitness in a healthy way.
Johnson was also on the cast of “The Apprentice” and helped raise funds for Character Counts in Iowa. In June 2016, Johnson released a young adult novel, The Flip Side, about a young gymnast trying to balance her dream of obtaining an Olympic gold medal with her burning desire to be a “normal” teenager.
She is involved in a number of philanthropic activities such as working with animal and children’s charities, working with cancer charities, particularly those that affect women and children, and she is a strong advocate of health and wellness initiatives. Johnson is also involved in programs that help build good character among youth across the country.
She married Andrew East in April 2016. Together, the couple runs a successful YouTube channel where they vlog about their everyday lives.