Congratulations to Shawn Johnson

For her incredible performance during the Olympics, which culminated in a gold medal for balance beam.

I have friends whose kids take gymnastics at Chow’s in West Des Moines, and apparently Shawn is so kind and gracious with the kids who look up to her there. She did us all proud.

She was fantastic on the days she earned silver medals in the team exercises, all-around competition and floor exercises. I suspect she would have taken the gold in the floor exercises if she hadn’t been scheduled to perform first in the final. She had a flawless routine, but the judges often leave themselves room to go higher later when they are scoring the first competitor (at least that’s what some of the commentators were saying during other individual competitions). I wouldn’t have blamed her for being very angry, but she was smiling and sportsmanlike in her comments to the media after the competition.

Nastia Liukin, the all-around gold medalist, was amazing as well, even though she may have been robbed of the gold in uneven bars. The Chinese gymnast who won gold in that event through a controversial tiebreaking procedure was reported by the official Chinese agency Xinhua to be 13 years old last year. Gymnasts are required to be at least 16 years old to compete in the Olympics.

There needs to be an investigation of some of the scoring in the gymnastics competitions. Alicia Sacramone (who had to go first in the final for the individual vault competition) ended up finishing fourth by hundredths of a point, even though she landed on her feet, and the Chinese gymnast who won bronze fell to her knees on one landing.

Use this thread for any chatter related to the Olympics. Des Moines native and Roosevelt High School graduate Lolo Jones looked dominating in her semifinal in the hurdles.

UDPATE: Lolo Jones was leading the 100-meter hurdles race until she hit the second to last hurdle. She finished out of the medals, which must have been crushing after she posted a personal best time in the semifinal. Elite-level sports can be a heartbreaking business.

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