In the Procter & Gamble original video series, "Raising an Olympian," Johnson talks about how her mom, Teri, provided her with constant motivation in her pursuit of a gold medal. "My mom taught me from when I was little that you have to have a balance in life. If there's some thing that you're dedicated to, that you have to enjoy it," says the 20-year-old athlete, who took home gold and silver medals in the 2008 Beijing Games, is a World Artistic Gymnastics champion, and won the mirror ball trophy on season eight of "Dancing with the Stars."
Photo Gallery: Shawn Johnson through the years
Instead of aggressively pushing her daughter to compete, Johnson's mom focused more on making sure her daughter was -- first and foremost -- happy. "If you can rely on somebody who's going to love you no matter what you do, I think that's pretty empowering," says Teri Johnson. In the video, both mom and daughter are seen watching footage of a 5-year-old Shawn competing on the balance beam, both giggling at the sweet moment, a snapshot in time for both. Mom's pride is evident as she smiles broadly, the memory as fresh as if it happened yesterday.
When Johnson suffered a knee injury in 2010 from a skiing accident, it was her mom's insight that inspired her to pursue gold again. "She seemed hurt that I didn't react like it was the end of the world," says Teri Johnson, who told her daughter that whether it was a skiing or walking on the sidewalk, the accident was supposed to happen. "Realizing it [competing] might not be an option anymore was a big motivator for me to be, like, well, you have to give it another shot," says the gymnast.
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While Johnson plans to retire after the 2012 London Games, it's clear her mom's words of wisdom have become her own: "At the end of the day when you're 50, 60 years old? People will forget the medals, but they're not going to forget who you are as a person."
The "Raising an Olympian" video series, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, will run through the London Games and profiles athletes, their dedicated efforts to make it to Olympic games, and the mothers who had tremendous impacts on their lives. Check out Team Mom on Yahoo! Shine all summer for additional "Raising an Olympian" segments.
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