The C Score (2.0)

UPDATED: Pretty strange update about Shawn Johnson

Posted on: November 7, 2008

**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?

9 Responses to "UPDATED: Pretty strange update about Shawn Johnson"

I agree with your interpretation. The vibes I’m feeling from Shawn is that she’s exhausted and wants to take a serious break.

The real question for me is when/if she’ll come back. It could be that she’ll settle down in high school and not really want to return to serious competition. I suspect, however, she’ll make a come back for the next team competition (would that be 2010?). I think she’s a great team player.

I think she’s just talking about a break and not completely retiring. Good grief people she’s being going 60 miles an hour like March of 08. Let her rest, take some time and just chill be a normal kid.

I don’t like her Mom and her agent’s spin on things. What does she need a family member present for. It’s her decision. They should have just left it at – she’s tired and maybe she’s not thinking any further than that. I’d feel really bad for Shawn if she wants to quit and her family won’t let her.

This is interesting. While I guess it is possible that Shawn may be “exhausted”, I’m not that far removed from being 16 that I can’t remember the boundless energy that I had. I’m sure she’s no different, and that she’s actually perfectly fine. Plus, I don’t think doing a few hours of dancing/tumbling around a couple of nights a week is that daunting.
If she’s happy with her Olympic and World medals (which she should be), then she may have mentally checked out. No coming back fron that!

I agree with your interpretation. And I think that Shawn became LESS likely to continue after the AA medal theft at the Oly’s. They broker her heart by giving the AA to a girl who can’t do a double back on fx.

I love Shawn Johnson. I hope hope hope she continues. It would be very dissappointing if she didn’t. She is too good to stop now.

“I agree with your interpretation. And I think that Shawn became LESS likely to continue after the AA medal theft at the Oly’s. They broker her heart by giving the AA to a girl who can’t do a double back on fx.”

Not that your point is even legitimate because Nastia obviously can do double backs on FX (who is the dumbass who started the crap that she *can’t*?), but it’s better to *give* the AA medal to somebody who actually can’t do simple, basic, beginner skills like split leaps and cheats the hell out of them?

Hi, Hatsumomo, I approved your comment, but let’s try to keep the tone civil, OK?

I think it looks like Johnson might continue, and I hope she does. I agree that she needs to improve her flexibility, but I personally prefer her style of gymnastics to Liukin’s. On the other hand, I understand that that is a personal preference, and I understand that others will disagree.

I am reallly fond of Shawn, and although I love Nastia Liukin, I tend to prefer Shawn’s gymnastics–I love her sheer power, and I actually think she is plenty graceful and lovely.
But I also think that she certainly deserves a break, if that is what she wants! I could see her taking a year or so off and then coming back for 2010 Worlds. Maybe London, too, but if she wants a break–give her a break!

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About The C Score

First there was A score and B score, now D score and E score. Where is the C score? Right here. In the form of my random thoughts about women's artistic gymnastics.


November 2008
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