Shawn Johnson, 79th Annual AAU Sullivan Award Winner
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Biography: Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson added the AAU Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete to her balance beam title at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Johnson beat out teammate Nastia Liukin, the all-around champion at the 2008 Games, and several others for the 79th annual award. She was the third gymnast to win the AAU Sullivan, joining Kurt Thomas (1979) and Paul Hamm (2004). Hamm won the all-around at the Athens Olympics that year.
Johnson won four medals at the 2008 Olympics: the gold on balance beam, silver in the team, in all-around, and in floor exercise. She is only the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on balance beam, joining Shannon Miller (1996).
Among her other achievement were winning the all-around at the Olympic Trials, and taking the U.S. all-around and floor exercise titles for the second straight year at the Visa Championships.