2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson is back home to add another award to her resume. The West Des Moines native was part of a ceremony Friday afternoon at the Iowa Hall of Pride. Governor Robert D. Ray presented Shawn Johnson with a replica of the Ray Pillar of Character Award that she won in 2009. Johnson’s award will be hung at a display in her honor at the Iowa Hall of Pride. The display includes uniforms, medals and a bronze statue of the gymnastics star. However, Johnson says being presented this award brings a special meaning.
“It means the world to me, it is by far my favorite award that I’ve ever been presented, because it holds the most meaning, it`s from home. It`s from Governor Ray and everything that it exemplifies it sticks true to my heart,” says Johnson.
Johnson won gold in the 2008 Olympics on balance beam, and silver on the floor exercise. However Governor Ray says the award is more about being a good role model and demonstrating good character in the community.
“This is very exciting, this young lady has a lot of success and she gets the award for doing something I couldn`t possibly do, and it pleases me to have my name attached to it,” says Governor Ray.
Johnson wouldn’t say what her next move will be, but has said it will include fitness and kids. Iowa State basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg will be presented the 2013 Ray award at the Character Counts banquet in April.