Gymnast Shawn Johnson began learning her sport at the tender age of three, when her incessant climbing on shelves and cabinets led her parents to enroll her in classes. In her junior career, the Iowa native mastered such events as the balance beam, Jaeger bars, uneven bars, and the floor. In 2008, the 16 year old competed in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, helped the U.S. win a silver medal in the team competition, and brought home her own individual medals in the beam (gold), all-around (silver) and floor (silver) competitions. Johnson subsequently became a celebrity athlete, making appearances on TV shows like The Late Show with David Letterman and Today and performing as a marquee member of the Tour of Gymnastics Superstars. She was also offered numerous endorsements and signed on to compete in the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars. Perhaps not surprisingly, Johnson and her partner Mark Ballas ultimately emerged the victors of that season. Johnson returned for the All-Star season in 2012, partnered with Derek Hough and came in as the runner-up, behind Melissa Rycroft. She later appeared on Celebrity Apprentice in 2015,
Biography by Cammila Collar
- In 2007, won every major event entered, including the American Classic, the American Cup, the Pan Am Games, the U.S. Championships and the World Championships.
- Became the fourth American gymnast to win the World Championships, and only the second American gymnast to win three gold medals in a world event.
- Governor Chet Culver declared October 17 as Shawn Johnson Day in the state of Iowa.
- Represented in Coca-Cola's Six Pack promotion for the 2008 Olympics, along with triathlete Andy Potts, basketball star LeBron James and three former gold medalists: swimmer Natalie Coughlin, sprinter Sanya Richards and taekwondo champ Steven Lopez.
- Took home four medals from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing: a gold for the beam, and a silver each in team, all-around and floor.
- Honored with a bronze, life-sized statue in the Iowa Hall of Pride in Des Moines.
- Won season 8 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Mark Ballas.