In 2008, gymnast Shawn Johnson take it the Beijing Olympics through storm. Just 16 year old, she won gold for the balance beam, silver for floor exercise and also all-around, and also helped she team take it the silver. The following year, she adhered to up her success through a success on Dancing through the Stars. She officially retired from the sport in 2012, yet the Olympian hasn"t been relaxing on her laurels. Since leaving gymnastics, Johnson has become a bestselling author, an entrepreneur, and also a wife. She"s also launched a well-known YouTube channel because that fans who simply can"t gain enough.

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In spite of her fame and success, Johnson is a down-to-earth mrs whose focus is on she faith and also her family. From her small town root to her worldwide renown, Johnson is an unstoppable force who is making use of her platform to support for reasons she believes in. It could have to be a while since she winner Olympic gold, yet Johnson is no less inspiring today 보다 she was as a teen.


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What perform you do when you have a toddler who never seems to run out of energy? If you"re Johnson"s mom and dad, you put them in gymnastics. They believed that the rigorous sport would aid calm her down a little, and also signed she up once she was approximately 3 years old "literally the end of desperation," Johnson"s mom said in ~ the Des Moines Storytellers Project: Parenthood event in 2017 (via the Des Moines Register).


She added, "At house she to be a terror, and also she was a peril to herself. She would stack her toys and try to obtain to a higher level, and also it was awful. Therefore we placed her in this tiny gymnastics class, and also it to be just automatically a hit because that her."

Johnson"s parental didn"t dream the she would end up being an Olympic gymnast. They "just wanted her to it is in somewhere where she to be safe, and also somebody else might corral it and also somebody else can be responsible for it."


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Even despite she"s an globally recognized superstar, Johnson remains true to her Midwestern roots. The West Des Moines, Iowa aboriginal remains loyal to her hometown also though this days she"s living in Nashville, Tenn. Johnson credits her small town upbringing with maintaining her down-to-earth. "I feel favor it"s preserved me grounded" she told HuffPost. "Coming from such a small town, the wasn"t fear to placed me earlier in my location if I ever before changed. It"s given me that structure in my life the you need to be quite to and also respect everyone."


Johnson is also grateful that the ar supported she throughout her gymnastics journey. "They to be so supportive as a community and they were always right by my next the entire method — especially my coach, ," she said.

At the Olympics, Johnson wasn"t just happy for the possibility to represent her country, however her hometown. "A many of people would asking me wherein I was from and say, "What"s in Des Moines? where is that?"" she said. "And i was just constantly so proud to have my neighborhood behind me."


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Growing up isn"t easy, but being an elite athlete put a lot of extra push on you. Like many young people, Johnson struggled v her human body image. "I remember competing and also reading more headlines and also articles that talked about how ns was stocky and muscular and also not the stereotypical gymnast body," she called WBUR. "It irritable me therefore much since I worked so tough to it is in respected for my skills, and to review these short articles that didn"t even point out it, it was frustrating as an athlete."


The harsh critiques motivated Johnson to advocate for human body positivity together a spokesperson because that Dove"s "Have your Say" campaign. She described that "there"s this huge trend out there that civilization want to just rip apart females for your looks, their body and also their appearance" and also that this needs to end. Instead of women being judged on exactly how they look, Johnson desires them to it is in judged on your abilities and also their accomplishments.


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Johnson"s parental were determined that their daughter would have as normal a life as feasible despite being an upstream gymnast. They limited she training to 25 hours a week instead of the typical 45. "They wanted me to it is in a normal kid: obtain in trouble, have chores, walk to games and do everything," she called CreditCards.com. "They didn"t want me come live and also breathe becoming a future Olympian. That wasn"t even a assumed to them."


Johnson thought she"d be able to return come life as a continuous teenager after the 2008 Olympics, yet that"s no what happened. "I believed all the method up to the Olympics that i was going come return home, return earlier to high school, go back to my normal everyday life, and also just it is in a regular teenager," the gymnast told WBUR. "I type of gained slapped throughout the face later on with simply chaos and also reality that that wasn"t going to happen, which to be awesome. I had actually so countless opportunities and also so many great things that I gained to experience, yet it was a whirlwind."


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A knee injury derailed Shawn Johnson"s gymnastics career after the 2008 Olympics and also prompted her retirement native the sports in 2012. For a while, the gold medalist to be staging a comeback and had wishes of contending again in the 2012 Olympics, but the damage to her knee confirmed too severe to continue. "I had already gone with two knee surgeries and also I necessary a third; I had actually a partly torn labrum, a fractured back, and also then my human body was simply falling apart," she called Inside Gymnastics. "Unfortunately, I wanted to continue, but my body was telling me no, so i didn"t really have actually a choice."


Johnson retired from the sports a week before the Olympic trials. "It"s challenging for any kind of elite athlete to give up the one thing they"ve committed their whole life for," she called WBUR. "It was difficult and emotional... But it was additionally liberating because I finally got to rotate the page and go to the next chapter."


Johnson"s post-gymnastics life has been busy. Rather of letting her momentum die down after her retirement, the athlete operated on building up her an individual brand which has kept her in the general public eye — and an ext popular than ever. "I was type of actors into the limelight of the Olympics," she called CNBC. "My goal in branding was constantly just to stay relevant and brand myself outside of gymnastics. Ns didn"t want world to just know me because that the gymnast, I want them to know me because that the person I was."


The secret to branding? Capitalizing on her niche. Johnson"s authenticity has actually kept her relevant and also made her relatable to her fans. "A lot of human being kind of obtain lost in translation and lost in the human being when they"re trying come be favor everyone else, and I think as soon as you truly room different and also you embody something different and also you"re just yourself, and also you"re unique, you was standing out," she said.


What go a gymnast perform after she"s retired? Well, Johnson has embarked on number of endeavors, however one time-honored profession we can see she in is coaching. "I love working v kids and seeing lock learn," she said Lifehacker. "Kids have actually the purest form of passion and drive and it"s inspiring to it is in around."


The athlete definitely has the skills and knowledge to coach young Olympic hopefuls, however Johnson isn"t certain she would prefer to coach at such a stressful level and is quiet figuring the end what a coaching career could look prefer for her. "I don"t really know; ns don"t recognize who it is ns would desire to coach or what I desire to execute exactly," she told Inside Gymnastics. "I"ve constantly loved the idea of coaching collegiate... I don"t understand if I can coach elite since — it"s simply so intense. I want to have more fun v it 보다 that."


Gymnastics didn"t simply lead to Johnson to win a yellow medal, it additionally helped her uncover the love of her life. Johnson is married to a fellow athlete, the NFL"s Andrew East, who plays for the Washington Redskins. Johnson very first met East"s brother, guy East, in ~ the 2012 Olympics where he was completing that year together a monitor cyclist. She now-brother-in-law thought that Johnson and his brother would certainly be a perfect match. "I, in ~ the time, was looking to walk to Stanford University and also brother persuaded me to check out Vanderbilt," she told HuffPost. simply wasn"t functioning out, so i enrolled in Vandy and my husband to be going to Vandy in ~ the time and we just started dating."


The match was, indeed, make in heaven, and also the pair tied the node in 2016. "I love him much more every solitary day," Johnson called People a year right into their marriage. 


In 2017, Johnson experienced a destructive miscarriage. The ns left she reeling. For years, Johnson had worried the she wouldn"t have the ability to get pregnant because of how hard her gymnastics career had actually been on she body, so obtaining pregnant felt favor a miracle and losing her infant filled her v guilt. "I had actually these guilty feelings of, "If ns can"t even take treatment of a child for a main in my stomach, ns can"t progressive a boy on my own,"" she said in a YouTube video. "I feeling guilty to Andrew that I had actually lost his child and also I felt guilty come God the I had actually lost His child. That was just this super emotionally time. It was most likely the hardest thing I"ve ever before had to go through."


In the end, it was the couple"s solid faith the pulled them with the heartbreak. "No issue what you go through, you will constantly come out of it, and I think if you believe in Him and also have confidence in Him, you"ll come out more powerful than you to be before," claimed Johnson.


It wouldn"t be too much off the mark to say the Johnson is structure her very own empire. In between her business man endeavors, a memoir, a young adult novel, her YouTube channel, her Dancing through the Stars win, and, of course, she gold medal, Johnson seems choose she was born to it is in a renaissance woman. She childhood dreams, however, were quite different — back no much less inspirational. "I"d speak if ns were come go earlier to high school and tell friend what mine life would certainly look like in 10-20 years, i would have told girlfriend that ns was walk to to visit Stanford University and be an orthopedic surgeon," she told Lifehacker.


Life clear took she somewhere else, yet Johnson look at this together a blessing. "Now my career couldn"t be any type of different but it renders me happy and also challenges me ~ above a everyday basis," she said. "The allude in saying that is a lot of us get caught up in believing we recognize what our path is, what we are supposed to do, and also we obtain discouraged or blinded once our routes change. Rather of letting adjust pull girlfriend down, adopt it and thrive!"


Unlike countless YouTube celebrities who accomplish fame online, Johnson was already famous when she launched her channel earlier in 2015. The reality isn"t lost on Johnson. "Welcome to this brand-new whirlwind the a task I have taken on in ending up being a "Youtuber" HAH that would have thought?!" she created in the channel"s description. "I"ve flipped my means to one Olympic gold medal and danced my way to a mirror sphere trophy however still can"t number out exactly how to upload my videos! Haha oy vey!"


Many YouTube stars focus on makeup, music, or some other niche interest, however Johnson"s channel focuses on her life "in a nutshell." as soon as you"re a family members name, friend don"t really require anything rather to attract viewers in. While her YouTube complying with isn"t massive, it"s tho pretty popular. At the time of this writing, her channel boasts much more than 740,000 subscribers and has amassed tens of millions of views.


You"d think that after spending many of she life training together a gymnast Johnson would certainly be a fitness expert. After ~ she left the sport, however, she had actually to find other ways of staying active and started taking fitness classes due to the fact that she didn"t have a self-guided fitness routine. "Up till the Olympics, i knew nothing however gymnastics," she called ClassPass.com. "So after, i felt lost. Ns didn"t know how to go to a gym and work out. I fell in love with group fitness since I need a coach, it"s sort of ingrained in me, and being in a team fitness setting is type of like being top top a team."


In 2018, she introduced her very own fitness brand geared towards women dubbed Fyt Life. Fyt Life has actually positivity in ~ its core. "I started it due to the fact that growing up in gymnastics, perfectionism became this obsessive trait," stated Johnson. "I to be constantly striving because that perfection, looking and acting a specific way, and also I simply got exhausted of it. Ns wanted women to have actually a actual platform whereby they can feel safe and also motivated."


We can argue that Shawn Johnson is already a superhero. After ~ all, the takes a near-superhuman talent to carry out the kind of death-defying stunts the are component of an upstream gymnast"s day-to-day routine. Anyone who has actually seen her complete might assume that gravity has actually very small hold ~ above her. Extraordinary together her talents may be, however, Johnson is human and her abilities, when astonishing, room not superhuman. If she did somehow regulate to obtain a superpower, though, Johnson knows exactly what capacity with i beg your pardon she would choose to be gifted.


"Well, the very first thing I believed of to be flying," Johnson said Babe. "I think that"s why i was attracted to gymnastics, since it felt prefer I was discovering to fly. However then I retained thinking, and also I"d additionally like to be invisible because I"m yes, really nosy and also curious."

Superhero or not, it"s hard to deny the there"s other magical around Johnson.

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Johnson is all about girl power, and also a lot of her occupational is focused on empowering women. Once asked by WBUR what advice she would offer to young ladies headed to the Olympics, Johnson instead made decision to dole out some helpful advice come all women. "I would say for every girl, whether you"re an athlete or not, i feel in your respected field and with that you room not come let people adjust your appearance since they have actually an opinion the doesn"t coincide with yours," she said. "Don"t allow anybody change you. Ns feel favor strongest, most an effective thing any kind of woman have the right to do is be true to who she is."


This advice echoes the advice she was offered by her coach, i beg your pardon she claims is the finest advice she has ever been given. "It"s much more of a attitude than anything yet I was as soon as told by my coach that no issue what ns believe... Even if it is I think I am qualified or not... I will constantly be right," she told Lifehacker. "It just taught me in ~ a young period that no matter what, believing in myself and believing in my goal is 99% the the battle."


While Shawn Johnson"s miscarriage was traumatic, she and husband Andrew eastern never shed hope that they would certainly one day be able to raise a child of their own. In April 2019, Johnson and East announced that they to be again expecting a baby. The pair told Us Weekly the they were feeling "guarded" and also "excited" around the pregnancy.


"When we went to the first ultrasound and got to view the infant move, it simply kind of fight home," stated Johnson. "I went into, like, protective mom, like, take care of mine body. He got in protective dad, protective husband, simply making sure everything"s OK."

The couple announced the pregnancy in a YouTube video clip in i m sorry Johnson claimed that she is "absolutely terrified" because of she previous miscarriage. "It"s natural for anyone who has actually experienced pains or loss to guard their hearts when things happen again," she said, adding, "I don"t desire to go with that again."