February 8, 2009

American News: Johnson, Hagerty, Goryunova

Rumored: Shawn Johnson to take part in Dancing with the Stars
Rumor has it that Shawn Johnson will appear on celebrity dancing show Dancing with the Stars, Season 8 of which will kick off on March 9. Johnson is listed among 13 celebrities slated to participate in the show in a press release leaked on JJB. If the news is true, Johnson will be the youngest competitor on the show to date... and her return to competitive gymnastics will be deferred even further. However, if her participation in the show ends up improving her dancing chops, which may very well be the case, we are not complaining. We're just wondering if the organizers will be able to find her a partner who is roughly her height...

Shawn Johnson, a dancer?
(Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Confirmed: Goryunova to go to American Cup
It now seems more or less certain that Kristina Goryunova rather than Ksenia Afanasyeva will be Russia's representative at the upcoming American Cup. We were just informed by Alan, who maintains Goryunova's official website, that Goryunova herself has told him that she is going to compete in Chicago. We guess that settles it, then. Thanks, Alan!

Kristina Goryunova, slated to compete in Chicago
(Photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)

Joey Hagerty wins Winter Cup Challenge
Joseph Hagerty won the all-around at the 2009 Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas. Two days after posting the highest all-around score in prelims, Hagerty repeated the feat in the final, posting a total score of 177.900 points. Danell Leyva, aged just 17, and Sho Nakamori came in second and third with scores of 176.350 and 176.100, respectively. Complete results (courtesy of USAG) can be found here.

Following the Winter Cup Challenge, seven gymnasts were named to the US men's team: Guillermo Alvarez, Chris Brooks, Chris Cameron, Steven Legendre, Danell Leyva, Sho Nakamori, and David Sender. 2008 Olympians Joey Hagerty and Jonathan Horton were placed on the national team by petition. Six additional gymnasts will be named later to the team.

Joey Hagerty soared above the rest of the field in Las Vegas
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)


  1. I am very excited that Goryunova is going to American Cup. Russia hasn't had any strong gymnasts at American Cup since Zamolodchikova in 2001.

    This should be good international experience for her. She was one of the alternates to the Olympic team. She's very talented and constantly improving. I definitely think she will fare better in this Olympic cycle.

  2. They can pair Shawn with Derek... although I'd rather see her with Mark. I totally approve of her on DWTS!

  3. Gina, Derek is 6'1. There are better pros, such as Louis Van Amstrel (5'8") or Jesse DeSoto.

  4. I've heard Shawn's grown an inch or so since the Olympics and she'll be wearing heels on the show but she'll still be barely over 5 feet so hopefully they have a shorter dancer to pair with her. I was hoping Alicia would be on if they have a gymnast but either one would be great. I wonder what this means for Shawn's gymnastics career (the show doesn't end until May depending on how well she does). I guess it's not likely we'll see her competing this year.

    I hope the international gymnasts at the American Cup give the Americans some competition this year (the Americans took the top 4 spots this year). I don't know much about some of the less experienced competitiors so I'm excited to see the meet.

    Why did Hagerty petition to be on the team if he was in good enough shape to win Winter Cup? Does the Olympic team automatically get named to the team if they submit petitions? Does anyone know which other Olympians are continuing?

    Thanks for all the updates this week!

  5. Anonymous, Yes, she'll be wearing heels but while height is an issue, it's more about look which height plays an issue. Its hard to explain... If (bit if) the rumor is true, I'm really hoping they'll be pairing her with Louis Van Amstrel who is an amazing dancer and choreographer (He choreographed the last two Dancing With the Stars tours (Maks choreographed the current one)

    Jon is continuing. He'll be petitioning to the National team as well as competing at Nationals.

  6. Shawn is confirmed as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars... no news on the pro paired with her yet

  7. Shawn just confirmed on her blog she'll be in dancing with the stars.

  8. Katrina and Anonymous, thanks for confirming the news! We look forward to seeing Shawn on the show. It'll be fun. Hopefully she'll make it to the final!

    Nico, we're with you on Goryunova. She's not terribly elegant, but she somehow makes her style work. We love her aggression on the apparatus. We're definitely looking forward to seeing more of her this year.

    Anonymous, as we understand it, members of the Olympic team automatically got to petition on to the team. Hagerty obviously didn't need to, but he might not have known that beforehand. We're not certain how many male Olympians are continuing, but we'll look into it. Stay tuned!

  9. There's some speculation on the internet that Shawn's nailed the coffin on her career, but I can't imagine her giving up now, even if she decides to takes a break from gym in 2009. I'm glad Shawn is taking some time to be a kid (while making some money from her skills and celebrity while she can). I bet she'll have a great time doing this, and as an added benny, she'll probably be a better dancer after the show.

    I do wish Alicia was going to be on it, though. She could bring it.