Shawn Johnson Goes Out On A Gold Note

Emily ThompsonCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2008

Shawn Johnson has spent all week finding the silver lining. She won silver in the team competition, silver in the all-around, and silver in the floor. After all that, the American gymnast had one event left—balance beam.

Johnson is a fan favorite and not the gymnastic robot most others are. She goes to a public school and only trains four hours a day, about half as much as everyone else.

In other words, she's normal—as normal anyone can be for a world class athlete. She is America's sweetheart, the closest thing to Mary Lou Retton a generation ago.

She lost gold in the team competition with China getting 188.900, and U.S.A. getting 186.525.

She missed out on gold in the all-around to teammate/roommate/best friend Nastia Liukin. Liukin score of 63.325 narrowly beat Johnson's total of 62.725.

She lost gold in the floor competition to the last routine, as Sandra Izbasa scored to 15.650 to Johnson's 15.500.

When asked about the results Johnson said, "When you do get (silver) you feel different emotions, but I looked back and appreciated that I had a medal. If it were gold, it might feel differently. I don’t know how to explain it. I definitely came to appreciate it. I wouldn’t trade my silver medals for anything in the world. Not even gold.”

Johnson decided that medals didn't matter in her last event. She just wanted to leave the Olympics not regretting anything. She wanted to do the best she could do.

The best she could do was gold.

Shawn Johnson finally won her gold medal in the last competition. Johnson's beam routine was nearly flawless.

She won with a score of 16.225, teammate Nastia Liukin won silver with a score of 16.025, and China's  Fei Cheng took home the bronze with a score of 15.950.

Congrats Shawn! Your gold was well deserved, and it's about time!


Photo's from Getty Images/Yahoo! Sports