Where Is Shawn Johnson Now?

Bustle

Dove

Olympic fever is building as we get closer to the 2016 Olympics, where theU.S. gymnastics team is sure to be a major highlight. If you’re a gymnastics fan, you no doubt remember Shawn Johnson’s multi-medal winning performance at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Where is Shawn Johnson now? The Olympic gold medalist is advocating for young female athletes byteaming up with Dove for #MyBeautyMySay, a campaign the pushes the media to focus on female athletes’ achievements, rather than their looks. In a recent interview with Bustle, Johnson talked about how the media’s persistent focus on her appearance has affected her throughout her career, what she’s up to now, and what she’s looking forward to in Rio.

Johnson was only 16 years old when she won gold for balance beam at the 2008 Olympics, along with silver medals for team, all-around, and floor. Now 24, Johnson told me that the Dove campaign — which calls out the media for often focusing more on female athletes’ looks than their actual achievements — hits close to home. “I feel like we see so much of that with female athletics,” she said. “It’s always about who’s the sexiest, who’s the hottest, who looks the best in a dress on the red carpet, instead of how well they played or performed.”

The pressure to fulfill certain ideals of beauty — even at the highest level of competition —certainly impacted her at the Olympics in Beijing. She recalled,

The media always kind of wants to critique our physique, and for me it was always a big comparison between Nastia Liukin and I, who were teammates and good friends, but we were two completely different body styles. She had the more traditional ‘gymnastics body,’ and I had the more muscular and powerful [body]. And people always thought it was a weakness instead of a strength.

That pressure had a major affect on Johnson, especially because, as she explained, “gymnastics is such a perfection-driven sport.” “I was always looking to be ‘perfect’ for everyone,” she told me. “I thought it would help me to succeed … and I thought that’s what the judges wanted, so I was always thinking about it.” It took a number of years away from the sport for Johnson to move past that toxic dynamic. She said that she knew she wanted to help change things when she saw how the intense focus on appearance was affecting younger gymnasts, including girls that she coaches and mentors.

Johnson and Dove are encouraging people to get involved with the #MyBeautyMySay campaign by calling out media outlets that focus their coverage of women’s athletics on appearance rather than performance. Dove has been collecting samples of this kind of coverage since June, and you can check out many examples (honestly, it’s a depressingly large number of examples) at the campaign’s website. You can add your voice to the conversation by tweeting media outlets with the hashtag #MyBeautyMySay.

In addition to the #MyBeautyMySay campaign, Johnson’s got a lot of cool stuff going on right now. She married NFL player Andrew East in April (“I’m pretty excited about that!” she said), she recently released a YA novel, and she’s heading to the Rio Olympics in August.

“I’m definitely most excited about the USA girls, the gymnastics team,” she said. “I know them all really well and got to watch them qualify and be named to the team. Going down to see them perform will be pretty cool.” When I asked what advice she’d give to the incoming team — made up of Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, and Aly Raisman — Johnson kept it simple: “Soak it all in. Have fun. Enjoy what [you] have worked for [your] whole lives, but try to stay focused at the same time, because there are so many distractions.”

Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson On SoulCycle and Dancing with the Stars

The New Potato

Gymnast Shawn Johnson is on cloud nine. The Olympian—who won a gold medal for the balance beam at the 2008 Beijing Olympics—recently married Oakland Raiders footballer, Andrew East, during a beautiful ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee. We jumped at the chance to talk to the newlywed on her most recent trip to NYC, as we are always intrigued to learn about the diet and exercise regimes of elite athletes. When it comes to working out, we often need a little extra push, and nothing is more inspirational than hearing from the best of the best. We chatted with Johnson about her ideal food day, and the best advice she’s ever received. The Dancing With The Stars Season 8 winner also talked to us about what it was like to be on the show, and her current workout obsession.

What are the foods you eat before and after workouts?

Before my workouts I usually drink a protein smoothie with a piece of fruit. After my workouts I eat anything from a PB&J to grilled chicken!

Foods that make your skin feel its best? Its worst?

Clean foods always make my skin feel its best, and greasy foods always make my skin feel the worst.

What’s a beauty mainstay that hasn’t changed since your teen years?

Skincare. I have used many different products since my teen years, but I have always tried to take the best care of my skin.

The new workouts you’re obsessed with…

I love SoulCycle and any NTC workouts on-the-go!

One thing we don’t know about Dancing With The Stars

Everyone truly acts like a family on the show, as we are going through this intense experience together. I still keep in touch with Mark [Ballas], Derek [Hough], cast mates, producers and even hair and makeup artists from my two seasons!

How’d you prepare for it?

Workout, practice, workout! Endurance is key on DWTS, as the farther along you get, the longer the dances are and the more dances you have to perform in one night.

Any new projects in the works? 

This year I am excited to partner with Smucker’s for #PBJ4TeamUSA to help current and future hopefuls achieve their goals. For every tweet using #PBJ4TeamUSA, Smucker’s will donate $1 to the United States Olympic Committee (up to $200,000). Every single donation to the USOC makes a huge difference in an athlete’s training – from providing equipment to travel resources to nutrition.

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Shawn Johnson To Cover Gymnastics In Rio!

Business Wire

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Yahoo! Inc today announced its full global editorial lineup for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, including Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson and Summer Sanders. Yahoo will send more than 15 experts and writers to Rio, plus another 15 video producers and crew to cover the Games from every angle. Yahoo’s focus for the 2016 Summer Games will be to tell compelling stories and produce instant reactions across all content platforms.

“We will use our world-class reporting to seek out the unscripted moments that make the Summer Olympics so riveting,” said Bob Condor, Vice President, Yahoo Sports Media Group. “We’re poised to offer our most comprehensive Olympics coverage ever with a relentless emphasis on mobile-first content. We look forward to Shawn (gymnastics) and Summer (swimming, host) along with Canadian Olympian Karina LeBlanc (Yahoo Canada) providing insider commentary on Yahoo’s global stage.”

Yahoo’s experts will create unique content for Yahoo’s global audience leading into the Olympics and throughout the Summer Games. Content from Yahoo’s talent will include video originals such as Instant Reactions, Power Rankings, Yahoo Sports Rio 101 and the Yahoo Sports Rio Minute, while Yahoo’s award-winning writers like Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Eric Adelson and Jeff Passan will create in-depth features to tell the untold stories of Olympians and how medals were won or lost. Former Canadian national team and pro soccer goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc will bring expert analysis to Yahoo Canada and host “Bring Your Eh Game” podcasts throughout the games. Finally, Yahoo’s Miami and Rio de Janeiro based production teams will create three daily shows in Spanish and English, as well as documentary-style video content capturing the lively and colorful environment on the ground at the Games.

Shawn Johnson Announced As Invictus Games Ambassador

People Magazine

derek-hough-800Prince Harry’s Invictus Games just got a dose of ballroom glamour.

On Thursday, Invictus Orlando revealed its two latest celebrity ambassadors exclusively to PEOPLE: Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough and DWTS champion Shawn Johnson.

“These athletes and warriors are shining examples of perseverance and strength,” Hough said in a statement, “and it’s an honor to be able to support them in any way that I can.” Added Olympic gold medalist Johnson: “I am beyond excited!”

Hough and Johnson join Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins – another DWTS alum! – as ambassadors for the Paralympic competition featuring more than 500 competitors from 15 nations.

Prince Harry recently passed the flag for the Games, which will be held May 8-12 in Orlando. The five days of competition, which will unfold at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, include everything from archery to wheelchair basketball to powerlifting and sitting volleyball.

Tickets for the Games can be bought here.