Life after Olympics a (gold) rush for Johnson

Evan Agostini, The Associated Press

Evan Agostini, The Associated Press

By Nancy Armour

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Shawn Johnson has been home a grand total of four days since the Beijing Olympics, she misses her dog and cats terribly, and her schedule is so hectic she needs to look at a calendar just to be sure what day of the week it is.

She wouldn’t change her second place at the Olympics for a minute.

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“I’m having a lot of fun,” she said Wednesday before the latest stop on the Tour of Gymnastics Superstars. “It is hard to be away so much. I get homesick and stuff, but I don’t know. This is something I’m used to. Or getting used to. … I love my new life and everything that happened.”

Johnson went to Beijing as the reigning world champion and the favorite to win her sport’s biggest prize, the Olympic all-around title. She wound up second – to teammate Nastia Liukin, no less – but the 16-year-old showed the grace of a champion with her genuine happiness for her Olympic village roommate.

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    After adding another silver on the floor exercise, Johnson finally got her gold on the balance beam, the last event.

    “It was the best experience of my life, and I don’t regret anything that happened or anything I did,” said Johnson, who won a third silver with the U.S. team. “I wouldn’t take anything back, I wouldn’t trade anything. And I’m not disappointed. I’m truly honored and proud of what I did and how I finished and everything that happened. Everything happens for a reason, and I was meant to do that and do exactly what I did.”