Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Winning Balance- Olympic Gold Medalist

During the 2008 Olympics, I was so impressed with Shawn Johnson and amazed by her gymnastic talent. Not only talented, but driven, determined and focused, Shawn Johnson writes about her journey to the Olympics, which led her to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. At the age of twenty, she is beyond her years.

Out of West Des Moines, Iowa came this talented girl, Shawn who was different from other girls her age.  She describes herself as a nerd, tom-boy and girly girl. Shawn likes her name and feels that she is strong.  A local gym started near her home and that is when she slowly developed a passion for being at the gym. Other girls were worried about make up or boys, but Shawn was worried about mastering her back hand spring, the balance beam and the high bars. Chow Liang, owner of Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute began to see the determination in Shawn.  He saw her potential and drive, which led him to submitting a video to Martha Karoly (Team USA Cooridnator), even though Shawn was unaware of the video. Maratha invited her to come train at her gym with other girls. This training camp led Shawn to an Olympic Gold career. She continued her normal life of going to school, training, attending school social events and balancing her ever growing career. 
After her 2008 Olympic Success,  she went on to win Dancing of the Stars. Although she has had great success, she has had many struggles in leading a normal life with her road to fame. In 2010, Shawn had a ski injury accident, which led her back to the gym with Chow. The two began an attack plan to get her to the 2012 Olympics. She began training, but  just announced her retirement this past weekend. I am disappointed she will not be competing this year.
As a athlete, I really enjoyed this book and Shawn's inspiring perspective. She comes from a strong value system and a supportive home town (who even re-build Chow's Gym after a flood). I believe her story is one worth sharing and reading. She is a very humble person and grateful for the opportunities she has had. I see her doing great things in the future. She is a great reminder that hard work pays off! She is beyond her years and I wonder if she will train the next Olympian? 
"Failure isn't a bad thing, it's a wonderful thing"- Shawn Johnson
 I am very thankful to Tyndale Publishers for allowing me to review this book. The opinions expressed are my own. To find more information, go here!

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