May 26, 2009 05:56 PM by Britteny Elrick
Last week, AOL caught up with Shawn Johnsonto see what’s next after Dancing With The Stars, and what we can expect to learn from her book Olympic Champion: Stories Behind the Smile. Keep reading for the answers to these questions and more…
What’s next for you? College? Another Olympics?
I’m a junior in high school. I was in public school my whole life up until this year. I got too behind because of the Olympics. I’ve been doing online school, which takes care of my junior year. We’ll see if I go back to regular school in the fall. I haven’t decided what I’ll be doing [after that]. I love that being on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ has opened up so many opportunities. This has showed me that I can do other things. I’m taking it one day at a time.
What will people learn from reading your book ‘Shawn Johnson, Olympic Champion: Stories Behind the Smile’?
I wanted to get across that I’m just a normal girl. I didn’t dedicate my life to gymnastics. The book’s about going on vacation and going to school, all the things that everyone does. You don’t have to sacrifice your life for one thing. I didn’t let gymnastics rule everything else that I was a part of. I think that’s what kept me happy and involved with it. I was definitely the oddball of the group. Everyone else was training eight hours a day and being homeschooled or tutored, I’d train for four hours. I definitely feel like I’ve started to change the sport a little bit. It won’t burn you out if you [lead an otherwise regular life]. I probably had a more hectic schedule, but I loved it. I wouldn’t have changed it at all.
Was it hard to make friends at school given your gymnastics schedule?
I wasn’t really treated any differently. Kids knew me from kindergarten. I grew up with them. Of course, there were some who were jealous … there was definitely a group [of mean girls]. Being in the Olympics showed me who my true friends were and weren’t. A few friends stuck with me through everything and I’m sure they will the rest of my life.
What’s the one thing you’d like to say to the fans who’ve been voting for you all season?
Just that I hope they’ve been enjoying us. I think I’m one of the most improved this season. It means the world to me that I’ve overcome a challenge and have shown that I can do more than just flip. [Also] I’m sure I can find room [for the mirror ball trophy]. [Laughs]
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