A favorite US gymnast, Shawn Johnson unfortunately made the announcement Sunday to end her Olympic journey at the young age of 20. Even after a skiing accident two years ago left her with two torn ligaments in her left knee, Shawn had high hopes of competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. But keeping up with training just wasn't possible. Shawn said:
"It's been a constant fight. It came down to there wasn't enough time left to heal. I couldn't push myself any further. My knee physically wouldn't let me do anymore."
One of the most popular gymnasts of all time, Johnson was also one of the most successful, holding an Olympic gold medal and three silvers at the 2008 Beijing Games and three gold medals at world championships. She said:
"This is a really hard moment. I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete. Unfortunately my road has been cut a little short."
This isn't it for Shawn though. While she's "scared to death" about what her future holds, she's excited as well and ready to start something new. She's already proved that she can set new goals and succeed, when she won Dancing With the Stars in 2009. Shawn will be cheering on her teammates in London this Summer and has thoughts about going to college, possibly Stanford or Vanderbilt, and will also keep busy coaching Summer camps and doing charity work. The 20-year-old said:
"If anything, my past 20 years have taught me I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. And to really set a bar high. It just makes me want to work harder for something that might seem impossible at first, but given the right amount of effort, can come true."
We're wishing Shawn the best of luck for her future endeavors.