Shawn Machel Johnson (born January 19, 1992) is an American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic women’s balance beam gold medalist, the individual all-around silver medalist, the 2007 all-around World Champion, and the 2007 and 2008 U.S. all-around champion.
Johnson was born in Des Moines, Iowa as the only child of Doug and Teri Johnson. Her parents enrolled her in a gymnastics class at age three after they noticed her climbing up cabinets and jumping down from tables. At the age of six, she was among the first students when Liang Chow opened a gymnastics school in West Des Moines.
Johnson attended Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa until her senior year, when she decided to be homeschooled. Unlike most elite gymnasts who train approximately 40 hours a week and have private tutors, Johnson trains 20–25 hours a week. She was on the A Honor Roll and took part in numerous extra-curricular activities.
Johnson took time off of public school in the spring semester of the 2008–09 school year, moving to Los Angeles, California with her mother to appear on Dancing With the Stars. She finished her junior year with a private tutor. She has made numerous public appearances everywhere from the MTV Movie Awards to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.