The Iowa House and Senate today saluted an Iowa teenager who may be in the international spotlight this summer. Representative Libby Jacobs of West Des Moines read from a proclamation honoring a 16-year-old gymnast who is poised to be a member of the U.S. Olympic team. "The House of Representatives honors Shawn Johnson, a remarkable young athlete whose dedication, skills, poise and grace have taken her to the world stage and will take her farther still in the future," Jacobs said.
Johnson briefly addressed lawmakers when an identical resolution pass the Iowa Senate. "I just want to say thank you for this honor," Johnson said. "I mean, it makes me so proud to represent Iowa and I just hope I can represent our country really well in Beijing."
Johnson is just over four-feet-eight if she stands on her tiptoes and she weighs about 88 pounds. She was crowned the world all-around champion last fall. The U.S. Olympic team will be selected in June. "I love being a role model to young athletes and kids and I just hope I can show them that anything is possible," Johnson said today during an interview with Iowa Public Radio.
Johnson leaves next month for the training camp for the Olympics. The 2008 Olympics will be held in China in August.