Despite her daughter’s talent for gymnastics, proud mum Teri was always keen to allow Shawn to enjoy the sport first and foremost, rather than push her toward competition.
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"I wanted her to have a life outside. I didn’t want to be one of those mums that think their kid is better than everyone else,” Teri says, as the pair reminisce over an old home movie of some of Shawn’s earliest tumbles. “If you can rely on somebody who's going to love you no matter what you do, I think that's pretty empowering.”
Shawn remembers wanting to quit the sport as a young teen, and how her mum’s attitude enabled her to work out what she wanted to do and carry on. “She said it was my decision and if I didn’t want to do it, let’s try something else. Her reassuring me I didn’t have to made me want to do it.”
And thankfully the athlete continued with her training, and went on to win both a gold and silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
But although Shawn had been training hard for London 2012, she recently announced her decision to retire from the sport, blaming an old knee injury and promising, a little sadly, to cheer on her team mates at this year’s Games.
Shawn’s injury occurred while skiing and once again it was her mum’s support that got her through, with a practical attitude that not being able to compete again wouldn’t be the end of the world.
“She seemed hurt that I didn't react like it was the end of the world," admits Teri. Shawn, still only 20, now plans to study.
Watch more 'Raising an Olympian in association with P&G' videos.