Shawn Johnson: Retirement has been blessing in disguise

Shawn Johnson won a gold medal and three silvers at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, but her inability to fully recover from a devastating knee injury forced her to retire earlier this month. Johnson spoke to LBS on Tuesday about her decision to retire, her experience at the 2008 Olympics, and what she plans on doing in the future.

Johnson spoke with LBS on behalf of Procter & Gamble, which is providing a $75,000 grant from the USOC’s P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund to benefit the USA Gymnastics Fitness Program. Procter & Gamble will also donate $1 to the USOC’s P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund for every follower the @thankyoumom Twitter account receives. Our interview is below.

LBS: What ultimately made you decide to retire earlier this month?

Johnson: It was kind of just sitting down and facing reality that we just ran out of time and my knee wasn’t allowing me to go any further. I knew the talent that was out there, and I knew that I wasn’t up to par. Giving my spot up to another girl that could potentially qualify at trials and make it was something I thought was best on both sides.

LBS: You said you ran out of time. Do you think things would have been different if there were more time to recover before the Olympics?

Johnson: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s hard to go through all the what-ifs, and I try not to do that because it can get you down on things. To say ‘What if I had another year?’ I don’t know what would happen. I don’t know if my knee would have healed better — I don’t know what would have happened. Everything happens for a reason, and not making the team and deciding to retire has been a blessing in disguise. It’s bittersweet, but things are working out for the best.

LBS: Has the time off been a break for you given how hard you’ve been working and training been all your life?

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Lolo Jones: When I’m looking for a date I’ll invite Tim Tebow to church (Video)

Now that the entire world knows Lolo Jones is a virgin, she can’t expect to ever appear on a talk show without being asked about her personal life. Jones’ virginity is a topic that everyone seems to enjoy discussing, although she is not quite the most famous virgin in America. That title, as we know, belongs to Tim Tebow. Jones has already made a few funny jokes about the suggestion that she should date Tebow, and she brought it up again when discussing her personal life on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno Monday night.

“I did E-Harmony and it didn’t work out,” Jones said. “I’ve tried it all. Right now I’m just seriously focused on the Olympics. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to invite Tim Tebow to church. It’s a 100% way to not get rejected. I’m totally just going to invite him to go to church.”

We know Nick Mangold certainly wants to see it happen as he showed us when he debuted this t-shirt. The truth of the matter is Jones is a very attractive young woman who is in tremendous shape and has a seemingly great personality. When she’s ready to find a date, she’ll have plenty of guys to choose from. Unless Tebow really does have a secret girlfriend, it sounds like she’s willing to keep him in mind.

H/T Black Sports Online

Justin Gatlin wants Jell-O wrestling match to break Allyson Felix-Jeneba Tarmoh tie

USA Track & Field decided that either a run-off or coin toss would break the dead heat that occurred between Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh in the 100 meter dash at the Olympic trials on Saturday, but Justin Gatlin has another idea.

“I’m voting for Jell-O wrestling match,” Gatlin told ESPN. “Red Jell-O. That’s my favorite.”

Unfortunately for Gatlin, who won the men’s 100-meter sprint to qualify for the Olympic team, officials have decided on a much less physical solution, though one that could be taxing.

Gatlin doesn’t like the idea of a run-off.

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Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh tie in 100m (Photo of finish)

Sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place in the 100 meters at the Olympic trials on Saturday in Oregon, and they’re waiting to see how USA Track & Field decides to break the tie to determine the final member of the Olympic team.

Carmelita Jeter won the race in 10.92 seconds, and second-place went to Tianna Madison. Tarmoh was unofficially declared the third-place finisher, just .0001 seconds ahead of Felix, but a photo review determined that the two were tied.

USA Track & Field doesn’t have a rule to determine the final spot of an Olympic team in case of a tie.

A press release from USA Track & Field explains exactly what happened.

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Holley Mangold: Guys with fetishes like me

Holley Mangold is one of the top female weightlifters in the world. The 5’8″ 350 lb 22-year-old is a member of the Team USA Olympic team and she’s set to compete at the Summer Games in London next month.

Holley has become recognizable because she’s the sister of Jets center Nick Mangold (who sadly won’t be in London to watch her compete), and also because she seems to be downright hilarious.

Mangold was the subject of a nice feature in New York Times Magazine which tells the story of how she got into weightlifting. The feature also contains a few awesome quotes from Holley, who doesn’t shy away from the obvious: She’s a large woman.

“I get a lot of Creepy McCreepersons interested in me because I’m so big it’s not normal, it’s like a fetish,” she told writer Elizabeth Weil. “And I don’t like to sit outside. Not because I don’t like to be outside, but usually there are plastic chairs. Once you break a couple plastic chairs, you’re afraid of them all.”

Holley also says she’s contemplated getting an Olympics tattoo, but can’t figure out what or where to get it. She doesn’t think she has the appropriate body type for one.

“Tattoos on fat girls look … Really nasty,” Mangold said. “You really don’t want me to get the rings tramp-stamped on my butt.”

The Olympics are a time when obscure athletes become household names based on what they accomplish. Something tells me that if Mangold performs well in London, and gets time in front of cameras, she’ll see a surge in popularity.

Note: This post also appeared at Medal Detector

Olympic runner Nick Symmonds goes on a date with Paris Hilton

Olympic runner Nick Symmonds spends most of his time preparing for the London Games. However, he recently got a chance to spend some downtime with someone who is apparently very special to him. According to NBC Sports, Symmonds recently visited Los Angeles and went on a date with Paris Hilton.

With rain falling at the site of the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Symmonds says he was relaxing in Beverly Hills when he got a surprise email from Hilton, who was flying in from New York. She asked if they could meet, and he arranged for a meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel — a spot that is known for being very private.

“Three weeks out from the Trials, I thought that would be a much-needed quick escape,” Symmonds said. “I was pleasantly surprised to be able to sit down with Paris Hilton one-on-one and get to know her a little bit better.”

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London reportedly last time NBA superstars will compete in Olympics

Mark Cuban may soon be one very happy camper. The 2012 Summer Olympics in London could be the last time NBA superstars partake in the Olympic Games. With all the talk recently about players being compensated for Olympic competition and owners worrying that their biggest investments are risking injury by playing for free, many have been calling for an under-23 Team USA going forward. Instead, the NBA is working on starting an entirely different tournament.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the NBA is looking to rebrand the world championships into a tournament called “The World Cup of Basketball.” The league has reportedly been in talks with FIBA in an attempt to create a financial partnership that would allow the NBA to share the revenue from a world basketball tournament, unlike the current system where the Olympics reap all the benefits of NBA player participation.

“The owners would be a lot more comfortable letting star players play internationally if they’re sharing in the revenue,” a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

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