Shawn Johnson, who's won four Olympic medals, announced Sunday she's retiring from gymnastics.
"I still have the heart, drive, and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics," Johnson, 20, from West Des Moines, Iowa said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey."
Johnson had hopes of competing in the 2012 Olympic team.
"I am announcing this now so the focus for the next three weeks will be on the incredibly talented gymnasts who are trying to make our 2012 Olympic Team," she added. "I have had the honor to train and compete with them, and I am excited to join the gymnastics family and fans in cheering them on to victory. I will be there with every ounce of pride and energy to cheer on my girls and Team USA."
The gymnast's career included three World gold medals and one gold and three silver Olympic medals. She also competed in Season 8 of Dancing With the Stars in 2009 and won with her partner Mark Ballas. But Johnson says, "I am very excited about starting the next part of my journey."
"It's been a really hard decision. How can you tell yourself, 'No, I think it's time to say it's finally done,'" Johnson told The Associated Press. "I'd like to be 30 and have kids and run around with them. It became more about my future life than this future one moment. I'm looking at the bigger picture of things."
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