Shawn Johnson Wins Elusive Gold on Balance Beam

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Shawn Johnson Wins Elusive Gold on Balance Beam

It was destined to happen. Shawn Johnson, the 16-year-old, 4'9" pipsqueak, showed her dashing smile after completing a dominant balance beam routine.

Perhaps Johnson had come to Beijing hoping for more golden hardware, but she was fine with one. In a post-routine interview with the Associated Press, Johnson said, "I wouldn't trade those silver medals for anything, not even gold."

In that moment, you could tell she had come to understand what the Olympic games are all about. When she won three silver medals, she didn't drop them in disgust like Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian. Instead, she knew there were better days on the way.

As the all-around gold medalist at the World Championships, Johnson had the target on her back and on Tuesday she delivered with a remarkable routine.

Johnson reminded all of us that once these young women step off that apparatus, they are teenagers once again. Johnson looked like she had just eaten the finest of chocolate sweets, or at least her smile made you feel as though you had devoured some Godiva.

She had to overcome a lot, including her own teammate/roommate Nastia Liukin taking the crowning jewel, the all-around, home to the United States, while Johnson settled for silver.

Not to mention she outlasted all her competitors on the floor exercise after performing first, only to be outdone by a miraculous routine from a Romanian gymnast in the last performance of the day.

So, at the end of it all, Johnson was the little giddy child, "I can't stop smiling, I'm so excited." After Tuesday's win, though, she will forever be a golden child.

Image: Getty Images/Yahoo

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