I’m still in awe at how many people came to show some love to Olympic champion Shawn Johnson Tuesday night.
Wells Fargo Arena was jam-packed. Between 7,000-8,000 is a pretty safe estimate. Event officials told WHO-TV in Des Moines they now think it was closer to 10,000. Wow.
That’s how big Shawn John is right now. She’s Bon Jovi on the balance beam, especially with Iowans, who really appreciate one of their own.
And it wasn’t all kids on the edge of their seat, waiting to raise up homemade signs. Adults — grown men, even — seemed just as excited. Boys, girls, parents, grandparents, people of all ages cheered the gold medal-winner.
And I’ve got to admit, it was kinda neat to see.
Unless you win eight golds like Michael Phelps, gymnasts are the most popular American athletes at the Olympics. Especially if you win, and you have as much personality, down-to-earthness and a pretty face like Shawn.
Nastia Lukin won more golds, but Shawn’s winning America’s hearts.
She was charming and funny on Letterman Monday night. She’ll lead a reading of the pledge of allegiance Thursday at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and wrap up the week with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”
Shawn Johnson fever is sweeping the nation. I now am caught up it in.