At just 16 years old, American gymnast Shawn Johnson has already made a huge splash in the worlds of sports and beauty. She won multiple medals during the Summer Olympics in Beijing and has also been busy outside of the gym as a spokesperson for Cover Girl and Crest. We had the amazing opportunity to meet her while she was in Chicago to work with Feeding America (formerly known as America’s Second Harvest). Shawn took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about her charity work, beauty obsessions, and her future goals.
The Daily Obsession: Tell us a bit about what you’re working on with Crest and Feeding America here in Chicago.
Shawn Johnson: Crest actually just donated $1 million worth of toothpaste to Feeding America. Especially during times like these, a lot of families’ first priority is to put food on the table, and people forget about dental care. I’m going to be giving out food and toothpaste and hopefully raise awareness about food donation shortages and health.
TDO: That’s such a great cause. Have you done work with other charities before?
SJ: Yes, I’ve actually worked with a lot of women’s cancers charities, and that’s been really important to me. I use Crest products pretty much everyday of my life, so this is a natural cause for me to support. I’m also going back to Iowa next week to work on flood relief with Ashton Kutcher! I’ve never met him before, but he’s from Iowa, too.
TDO: Lucky! He’s too cute. Earlier this year, you and some of your Team USA teammates were named as Cover Girl’s new spokespersons. What has that been like?
SJ: It’s been so fun! It’s also with Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone. I’ve gotten to try a lot of makeup and work with other brands like Secret and Venus, too.
TDO: So like everyone else in the world, I was glued to the TV during the Olympics this summer, watching you and your teammates compete. It was amazing and inspiring to watch. What were your most memorable moments during the Olympics?
SJ: Thank you. I actually have 2 favorite moments. First was our team competition. It’s a feeling you can’t explain. You’re not an individual anymore. You become one with your team and you rely on each other. We won the silver and we were so proud of what we did.
Second was during the all-around competition. I was still representing the USA, but competing against my own teammates. It was during my last routine, the floor exercise. I wasn’t worried about scores and placements anymore, I was just focused on being me and having fun. I got goosebumps.
TDO: Everyone wants to know whether you’ll be back representing the United States in the 2012 Olympics in London…
SJ: It’s a long commitment, but yes, I plan on going for it. I’d love to feel that amazing feeling again.
TDO: What are some of your other future goals?
SJ: I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m working on gymnastics goals, like getting back into shape and learning harder skills. I want to go to college, my dream is Stanford. I’d love to coach there since I turned pro and can’t compete. I need to finish high school first though!
TDO: I asked our readers to send in some fan questions for you. One of them wanted to ask about your poetry and writing. Do you plan on ever publishing those or exploring more art?
SJ: I don’t know yet, maybe in the future? One of my goals is to eventually write a book of my life story. I also hang a lot of my drawings up at home and I just painted my headboard with flowers. It’s a really easy and fun way to redecorate.
TDO: Another fan question–what is the craziest thing a fan has ever done?
SJ: Once someone asked me to sign his baby. On the head. With a Sharpie! I tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn’t budge. So I just did it!
1) Favorite singer? Right now, Taylor Swift. I’ve been listening to her new CD.
2) Place you’ve traveled to? Venice, Italy. It’s so beautiful there and I love the architecture.
3) Brand of jeans? I like Forever 21 and Virtue. Gymnasts are built weird since we’re smaller, but also stronger. It’s hard sometimes to find jeans that look good.
4) Comfort food? Ice cream!
5) Shopping website? FreePeople.com. I do a lot of retail therapy!
Thank you so much, Shawn! You can find out even more about her at her official site, shawnjohnson.net.