Darien YMCA gymnasts get coached by Shawn Johnson
Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson visited the Darien YMCA on Saturday, Apr. 18 to help coach the team's morning practice. She immediately put the gymnasts at ease, individually coaching them in several gymnastics events including her best event, the beam. She also signed autographs on gymnast's leotards, warm-ups, and phone cases. She even took selfies with some of the gymnasts.
The Darien YMCA invited Shawn to visit the gymnastics team in memory of Emily Fedorko. Emily, a Greenwich resident and Darien Y gymnast, died following a boating accident last August, and Shawn was Emily's favorite gymnast. Shawn had dinner in Greenwich with the Fedorko family the night before the practice.
Gymnastics Director John Schwartz said, "Shawn is such an inspiration to our team. She worked hard and won Olympic medals when she was the same age as some of our gymnasts. We're honored that she took the time to come to see us."
Shawn was just 16 years old when she won four medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That year she was the balance beam gold medalist, and team, all-around and floor exercise silver medalist. She was also the winner of the 2009 season of "Dancing with the Stars," and earned second place in the celebrity all-star edition in 2012. She recently appeared as a cast member on the show "Celebrity Apprentice" during the winter 2015 season. She retired from gymnastics in June 2012.