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Shawn Johnson captured America’s heart at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when the 16-year old gymnast took home gold in the balance beam and silver in the all-around, floor and team competitions. Today, she promotes fitness, nutrition and positive body image as a certified personal trainer.
Johnson’s pursuit of Olympic gold began shortly after she was born in 1992 in Des Moines, Iowa. Before she headed to the Olympics in China, Johnson won three gold medals in the team, all-around, and floor events as a 15-year-old at the 2007 World Championships. In Beijing a year later, Johnson and Nastia Liukin became the first U.S. teammates to win gold and silver in the all-around competition.
[Video: Shawn Johnson goes for fashion gold]
Johnson’s winning performance in 2008 made her one of America’s most-loved athletes and earned her a bevy of endorsement deals. She spent the latter part of the year parading around the country as part of The Tour of Gymnastics Superstars.
After 2008, Johnson began to struggle with injuries. She tore her left ACL while skiing in 2010 and could not recover in time to make her second Olympic team in 2012.
In her life after gymnastics, Johnson has become a fitness and nutrition advocate. Johnson became a certified trainer and enrolled at Vanderbilt University in 2013, studying sports psychology and nutrition.
The issue is personal for Johnson, who recently went public about her struggles with an eating disorder before the 2008 Olympics, telling People Magazine that she averaged around 700 calories per day leading up to the Games.
Johnson has twice competed on “Dancing With the Stars,” winning the show’s eighth season in 2009 and placing second in 2012’s all-star edition. She also participated in the 2015 season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” In April, she married NFL long snapper Andrew East in Nashville, Tenn.