Some had unjustly labeled her 2008 Beijing Olympics performance as a let-down because the U.S. team took got the silver medal instead of the gold, and because Johnson had to settle for an all-around silver behind teammate Nastia Liukin and wound up with the silver in the floor exercise.
In the final women’s event, Johnson, then 16 and battling a cold, delivered a nearly perfect beam routine to win an Olympic gold medal.
Since that time, she has retired once, won it all on Dancing with the Stars, and attempted to make a comeback after sustaining a knee injury in a skiing accident two years ago.
Today, though, Johnson announced she was retiring for good.
Johnson said this afternoon that the injured knee had been a problem in getting ready for London.
“Finally, time ran out,” she said.
“It just little by little gets worse and worse,” Johnson told The Associated Press. “My body is to the point where I need time to rest and retire so I can be healthy for the rest of my life. It’s hard to wrap my mind around. Gymnastics has been my entire life, and now it’s no more.”
USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny said, “She really transcended the sport, the way she connected with people, real people. She competed with her heart on her sleeve and she competed with a ton of integrity and a ton of grit.”
- Gold medalist Shawn Johnson announces retirement (twitchy.com)