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Olympic gymnast opens up about failure and faith

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Just moments before gymnast Shawn Johnson performed her routine at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she heard her competitor’s score—and realized gold was out of reach.

Johnson finished the Olympics with three silver medals and one gold. But despite her success, the Olympian now admits to struggles with depression, an eating disorder, and perfectionism but declares faith in Jesus Christ gave her the strength to overcome.

In a video testimony with I Am Second (posted above), a Christian series intended to “give hope to the lonely and the hurting,” Johnson sat down to talk about the pressure she faced going into the 2008 Olympics.

In her testimony, posted just days after the selection of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Johnson emphasized how Jesus is first in her life, and she is second.

“Jesus sacrificed His life on that cross so when I stood up there, and I was given that gold medal, yes, it’s a monumental and amazing experience and a wonderful thing, but it’s not the end all, be all,” Johnson said.

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