UPDATED: Pretty strange update about Shawn Johnson
Posted November 7, 2008on:
**Scroll down to the 11/10 edit**
So this article from The Des Moines Register has the closest we’ve gotten to an update from Shawn Johnson.
Johnson says that to compete in Nationals and Worlds, she would have to start training immediately after the Tour:
“To compete next year, I’d have to start training directly after the tour. … It would be hard to get into the kind of shape I’m happy with. If I did come back, I’d want to be better than ever, even if it takes three years. I’d want to be more perfect and precise.”
And she says that she will go back to high school immediately (thank god).
But then her mother and agent come back with attempts to convince us to take what Johnson has said with a grain of salt:
Teri Johnson (who by the way seems like a great mother for a gymnast):
“Mentally she needs to be in the right frame of mind to have that conversation. She’s exhausted. We’ve only had four days with her since July. She has been on the road working hard. She’s only 16. I don’t think she’s prepared to have that kind of conversation without a family member present.”
And then this from her agent, Sheryl Shade:
“She hasn’t been home to sit down with her parents and discuss it. It’s a family decision. She hasn’t been home yet to have that conversation.”
Weird, right? It sounds like Johnson kind of knows what she wants, but her family wants in on the decision, and her agent doesn’t want us to write her off so that she stops making money off the possibility of continuing. At least, that’s my interpretation. Do other people have alternative perspectives? Honestly, I hope Johnson continues, even if it’s not for a while. She is a great, precise gymnast, and she wants to be even more precise? I couldn’t really ask for more. (Except a little more flexibility ….)
EDIT 11/10: It looks like Johnson has made her decision: this new article from the Register is headlined “Shawn Johnson says she’ll compete in 2012 Games in London,” based on the following quotation:
“I’ve got [it] set in stone that I want to continue. … Gymnastics is my life and I can’t see myself finishing yet, and I’d love to go for 2012.
Her mother then says: “If I had my choice, I’d keep her home for the next four years. But, you know, that’s not going to happen no matter what she does. So if she wants to give it another go, we are all for it. Absolutely.”
The interview is available here.
So it looks like Johnson’s just being smart. Take a little time off, keep training, don’t push yourself to get back into competition form … and then zoom back out onto the world stage in 2010?