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Shawn Johnson Gets Hero's Welcome

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Uploaded on Aug 7, 2007

thanks to gymnastic2006 for this!

http://www.whotv.com/global/story.asp...

July 20, 2007--Shawn Johnson, the 15-year-old West Des Moines native, is quickly becoming a crowd favorite. The gymnastics champ wowed the crowd at the Pan American Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where she collected five medals.

Thursday, she made the long trek home to Iowa. Channel 13's Shawn Terrell was just one of many waiting for her arrival at the Des Moines International Airport.

"It was the best competition I'd ever been to and the biggest, I got to meet some of the nicest girls. I had fun doing it too," Johnson said.

Johnson was swarmed by her teammates from Chow's Gymnastics the second she stepped off the escalator at the airport.

It had been a month since they'd seen their friend, their teammate, their idol. So they waited with signs, balloons and words of encouragement on the tip of their tongues. As Johnson approached the swarm, it was hard to tell who was more excited.

The hero's welcome is much deserved. The 15-year-old gymnast returns from the Pan Am Games in Brazil with five medals, four of them gold.

However, it appears the best is yet to come. With all around titles in the Junior Nationals, American Cup and now Pan Am Games, Johnson has established herself as a strong contender for Olympic gold next summer.

"She did a great job representing us and representing the country," said Shawn's coach Liang Chow.

While Johnson may be home, she's not on a break. Johnson will continue training for her next two big events. She's training for the US Championships in San Jose next month. If she does well there, she'll qualify for the World Championships in Germany in September.

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