Add ‘Dancing’ queen to Shawn Johnson’s resume that at age 17 — yeah, I know, 17! — already includes Olympic gold medalist.
Iowa’s golden girl was crowned champion of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night, an honor that means more to many people in this country than her performance in Beijing, China, last summer.
Right, wrong or indifferent, what happened Tuesday increases her status from superstar to rock star, an 8.5 on the Richter scale.
Her life changed dramatically after the Olympics.
How is it affected now?
First, Shawn and partner Mark Ballas will visit with the “Good Morning America” crew and Regis and Jimmy Kimmel and whoever else can squeeze her in.
She’s obviously not taking classes at Valley High School in her hometown of West Des Moines, and hasn’t this school year. Does she ever roam the halls there again? If I had to guess, she’ll be home schooled the rest of her pre-college years.
What does Shawn’s long-term future hold?
The endorsements, sponsorships, appearances and other business ventures that are setting her and her family up for life aren’t going away. More will come.
Will she ever compete in a meaningful gymnastics event again, let alone the 2012 Olympics in London?
Can she stay in Chow’s gym long enough to properly prepare herself for such competition? Her celebrity may be such that Shawn can’t pass up the chance to maximize her earning potential and strike while the iron is hot.
The best thing for Shawn is that she’s got time to figure this out.
Of course, another Olympic run could prolong and add to her stardom. Wait on college, train hard, stand alongside Michael Phelps as one of the most hyped Olympic athletes ever and, if all goes well, stand atop the medal stand once again.
Step aside Mary Lou, no matter what Shawn decides you’ve already got company as the most recognizable and marketable American gymnasts ever.
Life used to be all about gymnastics for Shawn Johnson.
That hasn’t been the case for a while, and won’t ever be that pure again.