Johnson unlikely for 2009

Shawn Johnson tells the Des Moines Register she’s unlikely to compete in 2009. Rick wonders if this means she’s retiring for good. Johnson even disclosed that she’s not sure whether she’ll return to her high school in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Like the comeback after a potentially career-ending injury, the comeback after a successful Olympics is long and grueling. How do you go back to four to six hours in a gym after you’ve been the face of McDonalds? It’s a question Johnson and Nastia Liukin are likely to be asking themselves. Despite Johnson’s claim that she’d “give anything” to feel more Olympic magic, she may not realize what four more years is really going to take from her.

Only a handful of female gymnasts in the past decade have come back from successful Olympic experiences, and only two — Shannon Miller and Dominique Dawes — have been American (Tasha Schwikert doesn’t count because you can’t really call 2000 a success for the American women). The others include Lilia Podkopayeva (though her return was so brief it was almost non-existent), Simona Amanar, Andreea Raducan and of course, Svetlana Khorkina, who always looked better the year after an Olympic Games. than she did at the Games themselves.

A scene from Podkopayeva’s short retrurn to international competition in 1997, at the European Masters:

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6 Responses to “Johnson unlikely for 2009”

  1. Katrina Says:

    Um, you forgot Amy Chow (96 and 00, though I agree with you on 2000)

  2. shergymrag Says:

    The US team finished fourth in 2000. That is better than sixth which is the spot they claimed at Worlds in 1999 and 1997. It’s also a lot better than not making the team finals at all. The same attitude that proclaims fourth is a disappointment is the attitude that claims 2nd is a disappointment. It’s a damned shame to not only get to the Olympics but to snag a top spot only to have people insisting that you failed.

  3. Salma Says:

    Do you think Shawn would be more likely to continue if she hadn’t got the beam gold medal at the olympics?

  4. Matt Says:

    @ Katrina, Amy Chow never stopped training; she was the only one of the mag 7 to not stop training btwn 96-00, where as Dawes and Miller came back just to try and get a spot (although that doesn’t apply to Miller between 92-96, when she was one of the most dominant gymnasts)

    Also, I think Tasha had a different situation, since she almost didn’t even make the team, so she probably always had plans to continue on.

  5. Salma Says:;jsessionid=2C4DC327F4752243B3045926D589E7EB

  6. Ba Says:

    Miller did not stop training in 96. She always stayed in shape and competed in 97 at the 3×3 and the world university games. Not hard core training but semi training none the less.

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