City Rebuilds Flooded Gym for Gymnast

US champion can't let anything distract her in Olympic trials
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 11:31 AM CDT
An aerial photograph shows the flooding near the Des Moines River after a levee breach on Saturday, June 14, 2008, in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Kevin Sanders)
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(Newser) – When storms inundated Shawn Johnson's hometown of West Des Moines, they also left a foot of water in her gym. But the 16-year-old couldn't use that as an excuse to take a break from workouts: The reigning world champion gymnast was preparing for this week’s Olympic trials, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Johnson's coach is trying to keep her focus on the competition and away from both the floods and the community members who rallied to repair the damaged gym. "I don't think she needs the extra pressure. It's not like football. You can't just go for it. It is so technical and so controlled mentally. We want her to stay calm."