The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Olympic gold medalist to give keynote speech

Shawn+Johnson+won+gold+in+the+2008+Olympic+games+for+balance+beam+and+silver+medals+for+team+all-around+and+the+floor+exercise.%26%23160%3B
Shade Global, Inc. | Courtesy Photo

Shawn Johnson won gold in the 2008 Olympic games for balance beam and silver medals for team all-around and the floor exercise.

 

Student Association and Special Events at Mississippi State University will be continuing their Annual Fall Speakers event by hosting Shawn Johnson on Tuesday, Nov. 1. 
Johnson, Gold Medalist of the 2008 Olympics, will speak on her triumphs and success in order to inspire students. 
Jay Curtis, director of the event, said he wanted Johnson to come to MSU from the very beginning of planning. Curtis said he was excited when Johnson agreed to come and speak.
“This will be a great opportunity for students all over campus who might have an interest in taking their love for sports to the next level hearing from an Olympic Gold Medalist,” Curtis said.
At 24, Johnson is an entrepreneur who has not only shined bright in the Olympics, but is also a New York Times Bestselling author and winner of the eighth season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. 
Johnson won Dancing with the Stars with her partner professional dancer Mark Ballas. Making a lasting impression with the audience, Johnson was invited back four years later to compete in the All Stars portion of Dancing with the Stars making it to the final round. 
Before winning gold at the Olympics, Johnson received awards for being the two-time National Champion and a World AA Champion in gymnastics. Johnson retired from gymnastics in 2012.
Johnson wrote “Shawn Johnson, Olympic Champion: Stories Behind the Smile” in 2008, “Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams” in 2013 and “The Flip Side” in 2016.
 
At such a young age, Johnson is a successful business owner and will join MSU to shed more light on who she is and what she has accomplished in a way to better students.
Vanessa Velasquez, co-director of SA, said having someone like Johnson, to come and speak about what she believes in and promotes, such as a healthy body image, will benefit the whole student body.
“We thought students would relate well with Johnson,” Velasquez said, “hearing her perspective on being motivated and working hard, especially as final exams approach.” 
Velasquez said this event is unique because it gives students an opportunity to get first-hand accounts and encouragement from someone they normally see on television or in the media.
“We want to bring students really awesome people who have been successful,” Velasquez said, “to spark something in students, just to see how they have been hardworking and tenacious on their journeys.”
The event is free and open to students, faculty, and the general public. Tickets may be picked up at the SA office on the third floor of the Colvard Student.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Olympic gold medalist to give keynote speech