Shawn Johnson has mounted her final set of parallel bars.
The four-time Olympic medalist and 2009 Dancing with the Stars champion announced over the weekend that a knee injury has forced her to retire from the sport she loves, just a few weeks prior to the London Olympics.
“I still have the heart, drive, and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics,” Johnson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey.”Johnson suffered the injury while skiing in 2010.
Only 20, the athlete says she is unsure what’s next – aside from a trip to England to cheer on her teammates – but she’s excited for new challenges.
“I’m scared to death to know what the future holds because it’s kind of a blinded road I’ve never thought about, but I’m excited as well. I’m ready to start the journey,” Johnson told ESPN.