For a Des Moines, Iowa TV station, Johnson’s coach Liang Chow detailed plans for what he hopes will become a new facility. His current gym flooded in June, and Chow and Shawn relocated to Iowa State University for her training sessions.
Chow said that when Johnson scored gold last August, the level of interest in his business boomed.
“We do have calls nationwide, all over the place,” said Chow.
Chow said parents are calling from around the globe trying to get their kids to tumble into the same success.
“California, Atlanta, Buffalo, so all over the place, even Germany and Canada,” said Chow.
Chow’s has had an interest boom since Johnson won gold on balance beam in Beijing, but that might not be an indicator of whether he will actually be able to realize his national training center ambitions.
Certain gyms, including Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Parkettes and Hill’s in Maryland seem to produce Olympic hopefuls every quad, but there have also been one-hit wonders — Steve Nunno, for example.
Bela Karolyi, love him or hate him, is the only one to have trained more than two gymnasts who had realistic shots at making the Olympic team at one time.
Could Chow be the next Bela? The next Martha?