Shawn began her life with a bit of drama. Shawn was born with an apgar score of "0". Not an ideal way to start, but it did not slow her down. Shawn was up to "par" within 24 hours and hasn't slowed down since. Shawn was a very happy baby, and approached every day with a smile on her face. Ever eager to explore and get into something she shouldn't, Shawn kept her parents on the edge of their seats every waking moment.
Shawn had a passion from a very early age to climb, she could always be found on the jungle gym at daycare or shimmying up the sides of swing sets to reach the top. With an obvious interest in anything physical, from "riding" the vacuum cleaner to wrestling with her cousins, Mom and Dad were challenged early on to find activities that would satisfy Shawn.
After attempts at dance class and group tumbling classes, Shawn found happiness in gymnastics. With padded floors and plenty of things for Shawn to safely climb on during gymnastics class, life was very good at the Johnson house. Mom and Dad were thrilled to turn her loose. From tot to teen Shawn was eager to try most anything. A daredevil at heart, she would always gravitate to activities that were physically challenging.
As a result of her eagerness, Shawn progressed quickly in gymnastics and ultimately the sport became her life. Shawn became a student of Chow and Li of Chow's Gymnastics and Dance in West Des Moines, Iowa when she was 6 years old. She began competing at the age of 7. Year after year she continued to have a love for the sport and advanced to the point when it became obvious where her talents might take her.
Though the Olympics were never a conscious goal, once Shawn reached the elite level with success, the next step was the US National Team and their goal is to build the best team for the Olympics. Shawn qualified to the US National Team and through success in competitions, she became one of the top prospects for the 2008 Womens Olympic Team. Shawn placed first at Olympic Trials and secured a spot for the 2008 Olympic Team. From doing what she loved and being allowed to have fun while doing it, Shawn and her coaches had reached a level of success the Johnson family had never anticipated.