|Updated 5/4/2010 3:41 PM|
West Des Moines native Shawn Johnson, a gold-medal winner in gymnastics at the 2008 Games in Beijing, announced Tuesday morning that she plans on training and making another run at the next Summer Games.
She first revealed her decision to a crowd of 8,000 area students at Hy-Vee Hall.
“I got caught up in the moment,” Johnson later explained. “And what better way to do it than to inspire 8,000 kids.”
Until today, the 18-year-old Johnson had remained on the fence as to whether or not she would compete in another Olympics. She won four medals — one gold, in the balance beam, and three silvers — in China, but is still recovering from a recent knee injury.
Johnson is best known in her post-Olympic life for winning a championship on the ABC-TV reality show Dancing With The Stars in the spring of 2009 and for occasional acting and promotional appearances around the world.
“(There’s) something about it that called me back,” Johnson said of gymnastics. “I’m a little kid at heart. I can’t get away from it and I missed it a lot.”