There were many stars who attended the Super Bowl and its pregame festivities in New Orleans this past weekend — and they were happy to share their social snaps with the world. Beyoncé Knowles celebrated her successful Super Bowl halftime show with Jay-Z backstage while Alicia Keys got cozy with Swizz Beatz on the field after singing the national anthem before the game. Meanwhile, Channing Tatum took part in the NFL Honor Awards and Ian Somerhalder played a celebrity football game with Nina Dobrev. Click through for many more celebrity social photos from the big football weekend.
Shawn Johnson may have retired from gymnastics, but she's still taking part in all the fun. The gold-medal-winning athlete from the 2008 games in Beijing has been canvassing London as a Today show correspondent and Team USA's number one fan; here's how the bubbly personality (and future Dancing With the Stars All-Stars contestant) has been motivating her fellow gymnasts while live-tweeting their big events:
- Words of encouragement for the USA women's gymnastics team as she live-tweeted the team finals competition on Tuesday: "These girls have glue on their feet!" she joked.
- On watching the women's team win the all-around gold: "The moment they walked into the arena I thought, 'I'd love to be down there.' There's no better feeling than being part of a team. But I couldn't have been happier to watch them and support them and see their joy," Shawn blogged.
Read on for Shawn's tweets on today's women's gymnastics individual all-around results (which will air tonight in the US) after the break.
A favorite US gymnast, Shawn Johnson unfortunately made the announcement Sunday to end her Olympic journey at the young age of 20. Even after a skiing accident two years ago left her with two torn ligaments in her left knee, Shawn had high hopes of competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. But keeping up with training just wasn't possible. Shawn said:
"It's been a constant fight. It came down to there wasn't enough time left to heal. I couldn't push myself any further. My knee physically wouldn't let me do anymore."
One of the most popular gymnasts of all time, Johnson was also one of the most successful, holding an Olympic gold medal and three silvers at the 2008 Beijing Games and three gold medals at world championships. She said:
"This is a really hard moment. I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete. Unfortunately my road has been cut a little short."
This isn't it for Shawn though. While she's "scared to death" about what her future holds, she's excited as well and ready to start something new. She's already proved that she can set new goals and succeed, when she won Dancing With the Stars in 2009. Shawn will be cheering on her teammates in London this Summer and has thoughts about going to college, possibly Stanford or Vanderbilt, and will also keep busy coaching Summer camps and doing charity work. The 20-year-old said:
"If anything, my past 20 years have taught me I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. And to really set a bar high. It just makes me want to work harder for something that might seem impossible at first, but given the right amount of effort, can come true."
We're wishing Shawn the best of luck for her future endeavors.
We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from espnW here on FitSugar!
By Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson is blogging for espnW throughout her training for the Olympics in London this summer. Follow hers other Olympic hopefuls' journeys on espnW.com
Four years ago, I was standing on an Olympic podium, wearing a gold medal, and still thinking to myself how I could have been better. It had nothing to do with my performance — it was all how I looked. Back then, I always felt like I could have been a few pounds lighter. But the irony is, when I look back at the pictures, I look unhealthy and too thin. It's easy to get into a trap as an elite athlete, because you're made to feel that you're never perfect, that you can always be better. That's how you improve in your sport, but it's also tough because you aren't satisfied with yourself ever — it's second nature not to be. I'd always think, "Just get a little stronger, a little lighter," until it was completely ingrained in my mind.
It's easy for people to blame gymnastics for this mentality, but I feel like the sport has improved a lot. The horror stories we heard from generations ago (think Joan Ryan's infamous book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes), you don't hear at all anymore. But I do believe it can improve further and that good nutrition could be a key to all of this, if it were only taught at a young age. Many gymnasts go into the elite level at 13 or so, and a 13-year-old isn't going to go to the library to read some book on nutrition! She needs to be given the right information on how to eat well. Otherwise, it's not until she's out of the sport that she realizes the damage she's done to her body by not eating enough over the past 20 years.
I see all the success we have as a country where the gymnasts aren't 100 percent healthy, and I imagine how amazing we could be if we were doing it in the healthiest way possible. I don't think it's a failure on anybody's part; the education just isn't there right now, and it's just not thought about in our sport. My parents have told me since I was little, "You're given your body for a reason. It's OK to be different. Being unique is a good thing." But I always struggled to believe it. I'm stocky, muscular and short, and I wanted to be thin and flexible so bad! My mom would say, "You're not made that way, and you're not going to become that, so you have to learn to accept and love the body you're in." Well, some people are born with that appreciation, and some people have to work really hard to get there. Put me in that second camp.
Read on for more on what Shawn Johnson has to say about body confidence and how she feels in her gymnastics leotard.
Being an Olympic veteran means three things: you're a world-class athlete, you're used to hectic schedules, and you know how to travel smart. So who better to ask about how to stay healthy while being on the go than a few famous Olympic athletes? Whether you're snacking at home or need something to grab and go, here are recommendations from veteran Olympians Natalie Coughlin, Mia Hamm, and Shawn Johnson.
When traveling: It's all about "making sure you plan ahead and bring stuff with you, whether it's trail mix or an [energy] bar," soccer star Mia tells us. Gymnast Shawn recommends KIND bars because they are all natural and come in "fun flavors such as almond and coconut and apple cinnamon and pecan. They're surprisingly good," she tells ESPNw. Swimmer Natalie loves making her own energy bars — get her dried plum energy bar recipe here.
At home or work: Natalie is more than just a decorated Olympic swimmer; she's also an avid home cook and gardener. Natalie shared with YumSugar one of her favorite healthy snacks for Spring: "I love just having a really good baguette with good, high-quality butter (just a tiny bit of butter) and fresh sliced radishes with salt on top," she recommends. Shawn is all about snacking on veggies as well: she pairs peppers with hummus for a crunchy, filling snack.
Read on for more snack ideas from these famous Olympians!
We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from espnW here on FitSugar!
By Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson is blogging for espnW throughout her training for the Olympics in London this summer. Follow her journey and other Olympic hopefuls on espnW.com.
Say "camp" to an ordinary kid and she'll probably tell you about bonfires and sing-alongs and arts and crafts. Say it to an elite gymnast, and she'll tell you camp is every four weeks outside New Waverly, Texas, at "the ranch" — the national team training center.
The ranch is a lot different than it sounds. Yes, there are animals (camels, peacocks and lots of deer!), but it's also fully equipped with multiple gyms, a row of cabins for gymnasts, a separate row for their coaches and dining facilities. It's an honor to be asked to attend the national team camps, but spending a few days there is also really hard work, especially for a slightly older body like mine. I'm used to it, though — after all, I've been going to camp since I was 12 years old, and I'm now 20.
When we're there, we wake up around 6:45 a.m. and head straight for breakfast. Most of the girls grab eggs and coffee before we go back to our cabins and get ready to hit the gym. National team coordinator Martha Karolyi has an unwritten rule: If you're not 30 minutes early to practice, you're late. So although practice starts at 8:30, we all get there at 8. We get heat packs, get taped and do whatever we need to get ready, then sit in a loose circle on the floor and wait. At 8:30 on the dot, Martha walks out of the office. It's a signal — we stand up, line up and address her. She gives our assignments for the day, and we start practice.
My last camp, three weeks ago, was just a check-in for me. I'm not competition-ready yet, but it was good to be in the gym, working alongside all of the other girls. I'm impressed by them all, but I try not to watch too much because it makes me nervous. I don't want to compare myself to them yet; because of my knee injury and rehab, I'm not where they are right now.
Read on for more of a day in the life of Shawn Johnson at training camp.
We are excited to share one of our fave stories from espnW here on FitSugar!
By Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson was just 16 when she won four gymnastics medals in Beijing. Now she's trying for London, and this time she's the one making decisions about her training . . .
When I was younger, my coach Liang Chow made all the decisions. I would go to the gym for practice, do exactly what Chow told me to do, go home, come back, and start all over again. If Chow told me to do 50 squat jumps, I did 50 squat jumps. His guidance definitely paid off: four years ago in Beijing, I won one gold and three silver medals.
The road to this summer's Olympic trials has been very different and, in many ways, a much bigger challenge. I'm not the kid I was four years ago — my body and mind are both more mature. There's also been the torn left ACL I sustained on a ski trip two years ago, which has been a difficult and often frustrating injury. But as the 2012 Olympics approach, this time I'm in the driver's seat, no longer just along for the ride. And that feels really good.
Going into this year, I have been trying not to have too many big expectations. One thing you hear a lot from gymnasts is that they just want to do what they're capable of. To me, that means getting completely healthy and in top Olympic shape. Thinking about the Olympics can get a little too overwhelming at times, so I try to make the smaller goals more important: having good practices each day, getting my knee back to normal, keeping myself healthy and happy and doing what I love. That's what it was all about in the beginning, and hopefully that's what will get me back to the Games.
Shawn Johnson never officially retired from gymnastics. Although she toyed with the idea after the 2008 games, she's once again set her sights on the Olympics. But the decision to step back into competition wasn't simple. It took a a self-described "garage sale" wipeout on the ski slopes to end her indecision. Ironically, skiing, the only activity Shawn's long-time coach Liang Chow (they've worked together since she was 6) considered completely off-limits, brought her back into the game.
At a recent event at Nike headquarters, in Beaverton, OR, Shawn told me that after learning the results of her postaccident MRI, she drove straight to the gym and told Chow she wanted to come back even though she had torn two ligaments in her knee, torn her meniscus (the cushion of cartilage that sits between the thigh and the tibia, or shin bone), and ripped her hamstrings. "Instead of thinking, 'I'll never be able to come back now,' the first thing that came to me was, 'I have to go back.' It was kind of a motivation to me to get healthy again and to rehab myself . . . I really like to make things hard, and I don't like things that are easy."
Many celebs hit the red carpet last night at the ESPY awards in LA to honor the stars of the sports industry. Samuel L. Jackson was the evening's host, and he kept the audience laughing with his jokes about Twitter. Zachary Quinto took the stage looking dapper in his suit, while Miranda Kerr smiled for photos before the scary robbery at Orlando Bloom's house. Demi Moore was also on hand to present Michael Phelps with one of his five awards. It might not have been as snazzy as last year's Justin Timberlake's ESPY hosting gig, but the athletes and stars looked fantastic for the sports-filled night.
Michael wasn't the only one getting trophies — Hollywood's beloved Lakers won Best Team. Other presenters included Rashida Jones and Jeremy Piven, while funny men Andy Samberg and Seth Meyers watched alongside Billy Crudup. The festivities are set to air Sunday evening on ESPN.
Olympic gymnast and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson graced the red carpet of the CMT Music Awards in a pretty Elizabeth and James dress. She paired this strapless number with gold sequin peep-toe pumps and dangly earrings. Shop this exact dress and similar accessories now.