Johnson’s coach Liang Chow sent a video tape of her to the coordinator for the U.S. women’s team. It had a note simply stating, “I believe this kid will help the U.S. team” – and boy was he right. Despite never having been scouted before, Johnson’s skills were so impressive that she was immediately considered a serious contender for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
After turning 16, Johnson was entered into the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, surpassing all expectations. Her hard work and arduous journey culminated in her scooping up four medals: one gold and three silver. She particularly impressed with her gold medal win – notching 16.225 points for her athletic display on the balance beam.
After that monumental feat, Johnson took a sidetrack into the field of television. She came first on the popular talent show Dancing with the Stars. Sadly, however, an ACL tear derailed her gymnastics career before she could compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In June 2012, she declared she would retire from the sport.