Four years ago, Shawn Johnson came away from the Beijing Olympics with one gold and three silver medals. She added a Mirrorball to her trophy cabinet after winning "Dancing with the Stars." What's next? Well, if you combine the international travel of the Olympics with reality-TV competition, there's one show that sounds perfect for her:
"The Amazing Race."
But Johnson is stumped on who to take with her for those capers around the world.
"Oh gosh, I don't know," she says. "Probably just one of my friend ... or another athlete. 'Dancing With The Stars' was a really challenging thing. I don't think I could do another one, but I am a pretty big fan of 'Amazing Race.' I think that would be pretty cool."
Host Phil Keoghan hasn't tapped the 20-year-old former gymnast for the next season yet, but Johnson is keeping busy during her retirement. Although she won't be dazzling the world with a beam routine at this summer's Olympic Games, Johnson will still be in London and not just as a cheerleader in the stands.
"When Procter & Gamble offered the correspondent position to me, it was a great opportunity to meet the other competitors and athletes, really connect with them and still share in the whole Olympic movement," Johnson says. "Going back as a cheerleader would have been a great experience, but I'm not going to lie. It wouldn't be easy just sitting in the stands and having no other place in the games."
Johnson began her job as P&G's Olympic Games correspondent Wednesday by announcing a $75,000 grant to USA Gymnastics from the USOC's P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund. The grant will support youth sports development and USA Gymnastics Fitness Program, which engages children in physical fitness through training, exercise and nutrition awareness.
For every new follower the USOC's P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund gets on Twitter @ThankYouMom, the company will donate one dollar, up to $50,000. The funds will go to a program that Johnson says gives children a channel for their energy and passion.
"Sports for kids of any age really set them up for life," Johnson says. "It gives them an outlet for their energy, keeps them in a safe environment and teaches them all these life lessons that they can transition into other things when they get older."
As Johnson transitions into her new role as a correspondent, she says her background as a four-time Olympic medalist will help.
"I know what they're feeling, and I know what they've gone through," she says. "It's always difficult for an athlete to go give an interview and really relate to the reporter, but I think I will be able to ask and share an insight with people that a normal reporter might not be able to."
Such as the possibility that the Olympic Trials, which are underway in San Jose, may be more intense than the actual Games in London.
"Right now, the girls and the guys are feeling the heat. If they don't hit here, then they don't make the team," Johnson said. "Everybody is going to compete to the best of their ability and tomorrow is going to make them or break them."
During the next four days, the field of gymnasts will be narrowed down to five men and five women, but Johnson says she couldn't make any predictions.
"These girls are like my sisters and having to pick five out of the 20 would be heart-wrenching to me," Johnson says. "I hope they all make it, but no matter what five are picked, I know we are going to have the strongest team out there, because the camaraderie between the girls and how hard they work is second to none."
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