Friday, May 29, 2009

Why America likes Shawn Johnson

Fresh from her surprise win on Dancing With the Stars, 17-year-old Shawn Johnson has been on the move. The kid who reigned as the world champion at 15 and brought home a gold medal from Beijing is riding a new wave of popularity.
How this high school senior-to-be will bear up under the pressure and publicity that goes with her success remains to be seen, but so far she's been a class act.
Like many Americans, I watched the 2008 Olympic Games pretty intently. It was fun to see Nastia Liukin, who lives just up the road in the Dallas area come away as the women's all-around gymnastic champion. But she took the title at the expense of her roommate, Shawn.
Shawn gave us all a little lesson in some of the things all coaches would like their kids to learn. Among those are: accepting defeat with grace, supporting our teammates when things aren't going our way, not letting jealousy over a friends success poison a relationship and of course–don't give up.
It's always good when we see these values displayed by our sports heroes. It's a surprise when the lessons come from someone so young. As long as Shawn holds to those principals, she'll go far.
— Rich Flowers, News Editor

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