So, yesterday was basically one of the most exciting days I’ve ever had. As you know, Julie is headed to the Olympics in London in August, but I got the chance to attend the gymnastics Olympic trials this week in San Jose on behalf of P&G Beauty. For three hours, I had the opportunity to watch, up close, the country’s best gymnasts practice for competition. It was, quite simply, awe-inspiring. I’ll be posting photos and videos in the next week.
But equally as exciting was sitting down to talk with an incredible athlete who is not competing this year – Shawn Johnson, who won the gold medal on balance beam, and the silver all-around individual medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Earlier this month, despite prior intentions to compete for a slot on the 2012 Olympic team, Johnson announced her retirement due to recurring problems with her knee following an injury. Instead, her new role at the Olympic Games will be as a P&G correspondent, interviewing athletes and cheering them on from the stands. After the jump, read my interview with Shawn, who talks about what she learned from being surrounded by so many other women, how she feels about being a role model, and what question she’s dying to ask the Olympic athletes in London. Oh yeah, and we also obviously talked about gross beauty tips, Ryan Gosling, tall guys, and “Magic Mike.” Because duh. Keep reading »
Shawn Johnson is one tough cookie. She impressed us in the 2008 Olympics with her badass gymnastics skills and again when she won “Dancing with the Stars” season 8. But yesterday, we truly had to give it to her for getting up on the witness stand to testify against her stalker, the uber creepy Robert O’Ryan. This engineer believes that Shawn was communicating telepathically with him during the 2008 Olympics. He believed that Shawn loved him and that they would have a child together. When she was on “DWTS,” he drove cross-country from Florida and scaled a fence at CBS studios to try to get to Shawn. When police searched his car, they found a shotgun, a hand gun, a knife, plus zip ties and other cords, which he presumably was planning to tie Shawn up with. He also had love letters he’d written to her, a pile of clippings about her, and a map to her home. Fr. Ea. Ky. Keep reading »
For the last three months, I’ve been a bit of an unwitting viewer of “Dancing with the Stars.” I haven’t watched it religiously, I never set my DVR to record it, and I never watched an entire episode from start to finish, but most Monday evenings, I could probably be found tuning in for at least a few minutes. The truth is I watched for one reason and one reason only, and that was to lust over gorgeous Gilles Marini (the “naked guy” from the “Sex and the City” movie). If you’ve caught his dancing this season, you may have been as surprised as I was to learn he didn’t win the title last night. Instead, he was beat — by less than a percentage point — by perky 17-year-old gymnast, Shawn Johnson (the third Olympian to win DWTS — Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Anton Ohno are previous season winners). Keep reading »
Last night on “Dancing With The Stars,” the contestants had to dance the Rumba, a romantic dance that was difficult for shy, virginal 17-year-old Shawn Johnson to embrace, especially after her partner Marc Ballas got a boner (click after the jump to check it out!) during their live routine a couple weeks ago. Not to worry, though — Marc had a plan to help her relax and imagine herself in love with him! Since Shawn will likely miss her own prom this year if she continue with the competition, Marc surprised her with an impromptu prom one day last week. He filled their rehearsal room with balloons and a disco ball, wore a tux and wide grin, and handed Shawn a skin-tight, flesh-colored gown — you know, just what every teenage girl wants from a dude who got a boner for her on national TV! “I wanted to recreate the prom so it could help us get in the character of the dance,” Marc explains. He doesn’t mention how he recreated an after-prom, but after watching their Rumba last night, I think it’s safe to say the gown stayed on.
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If I could still do a cartwheel without hurting myself, I would. Just watching Shawn Johnson do those amazing gymnastic-tastic moves at the Olympics made me hearken back to a time when I would spend recess walking on my hands without worrying that my shirt was covering my face instead of my mosquito bites. Sigh, those were the days. But sadly, a grade school in Australia has banned “dangerous” cartwheels and handstands in an attempt to avoid injuries. Needless to say, parents are baffled and kids are bummed. What’s next: banning writing because it could cause carpal tunnel? Outlawing hopscotch because you could sprain your ankle?
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Every four years, the Summer Olympics provide us with an inspiring display of physical and mental abilities. The athletes who get to compete are at the top of their games, whether that game is archery, swimming, Taekwondo, weightlifting, or any of the other 34 sports represented in this year’s Beijing Olympics. While we might obsess over models’ and actresses’ bodies in the years between the Games, right now there is absolutely no reason why any of us should be flipping through Vogue and dreaming of having a body like Kate Moss’s or Keira Knightley’s. The women vying for medals are a nice reminder that we don’t have to be tall and thin to be fabulous — heck, Kate could never even dream of winning a medal. Every sport emphasizes a different set of muscles, a different type of body. Even within particular sports, different proportions are represented. Take artistic gymnastics. All-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin is about 5’3″ tall with long limbs, while Shawn Johnson is under 5′ and has more defined muscles. Let all of this be a lesson: Be happy with the booty, legs, back, and abs you’ve got, because the women competing in the Olympics — whether they’re short, tall, petite, big-boned, super muscular, or lithe — are using their bodies to do incredible things, and so should you. Keep reading »
I’m more than a little into watching the Olympics. In fact, I made my friends rush through dinner earlier in the week so I could run home and catch the women’s gymnastics team finals. Last night, the women’s individual all-around competition aired, and I wasn’t able to watch them live. This really ruined my otherwise pleasant day. I got home just in time to watch the recap and got a little emotional when the announcer said 18-year-old Nastia Liukin had won the gold medal and 16-year-old Shawn Johnson had taken the silver. They were both just so excited and not at all jaded about the whole experience, which I found refreshing. Watch Nastia and Shawn with their parents and coaches on Today after the jump… Keep reading »