When nice people do nice things without ulterior motives

WARNING, Don’t watch this video if you are like me

EliteFan posted a link to a Article about Shawn Johnsons book in one of the comment sections of this blog. I thought it would be a good idea to repost it here.

The difference between what one person does and what “other” people do is the intent.

Two favorite stories from Shawn Johnson’s new book by Alexa Ainsworth.

When Shawn Johnson won the silver in the AA and not the gold as many expected Michelle Kwan searched out Shawn Johnson’s phone number to send her a text message. Below is what she wrote,

“Hi Shawn! I just wanted to say everybody is so proud of you. People love you, not because of the color of your medals but because of your amazing attitude, great spirit and kicking talent. Keep your head up high and smile. Everyone loves you,” wrote 1998 Olympic figure skating silver medalist Michelle Kwan

There is a reason we have not heard about this story before because when Michelle Kwan does something nice she does it because she is genuine. She doesn’t do it so she can announce in an interview that she is the reason the team rallied and won Gold.

I can also guarantee you that Michelle didn’t write that text because she thought it would make a difference. Michelle isn’t all about Michelle. If she sent that text message she sent it because she knew what Shawn was going through and she wanted to make her feel better.

Something to think about.


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48 Responses to “When nice people do nice things without ulterior motives”

  1. kbehel Says:

    This is wonderful!

  2. Aerial Says:

    I told you people I wasn’t a loser for ordering this book.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      No one called you a loser.lol but we will need some kind of review.

      • Exgymgurl Says:

        Can you email me offline? I have an idea I want to run by you it’s all good I just don’t want anyone overly excited and I can’t find your email address

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        If you mean me I can’t. There are over 5000 e-mails in my inbox and I can’t find anything.lol


        If you don’t mean me ignore this:)

    • Aerial Says:

      Secretly I’m peeved with all these little nuggets being leaked. I wanted to be the star revealing them to y’all. Don’t worry I’m still down.

    • Dee Says:

      I ordered it too, could not resist. It’s been way too long since a gym book came out.

      • Gymbee Says:

        Ditto, I ordered it. Couldnt resist a good gym goss haha.

      • JAS4 Says:

        I am seriously considering buying her book lol then again I may just wait for recaps lol

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Yeah I think the great group of people on this blog should band together and give us long posts about this book. 🙂

        Would make for good conversation pieces!

      • terrigymfan Says:

        Speaking of gym books, have any of you read Jennifer Sey’s book “Chalked Up”? There is something very interesting in it that makes me think Sey is disingeneous. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow when I am by my computer.

      • Gymbee Says:

        I will comply, sanitynmotion! 😀

        Although Aerial can be “head book revealer” 🙂

      • JAS4 Says:

        I will be waiting for the spoilers!

      • Dee Says:

        Well since we are speaking of books, I hope I dont get kicked out of the blog for this, but I ordered Dom’s book, as well. They will come together in a bundle from Amazon in June.

        I didnt want to put money in her pocket but I couldnt resist. If you allow me to stay I will give good spoilers. What! Amazon bundled the two for dirt cheap!! HAHA.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Dee – it’s like a catch 22: we don’t want to give Dom any further credence for her Olympic past, but we can’t help but be tempted by what kind of crap will be in that book. So I will look forward to some snippets that we can all laugh about…so you’ll have to give us the scoop. 🙂

        I for one am not buying the book, but only because I have so many other books I need to read…the Hunger Games series being one of them (yes I’m behind on this whole craze).

      • Aerial Says:

        This thread is making me laugh. I’m stoked to realize a purpose in my life through summarizing the best tidbits in the book, lol.
        Terri, I have Jen Sey’s book… I try to read any “good” or at least “interesting angle” book in the gymnastics/dance realm since our sport is barely ever televised, written about, in the news, etc. except for basically once every 4 years. Makes me mad in comparison to hubby’s nightly sports fest on TV, in the paper, online, etc. So yes, I have read it… also Suzanne Yoculan’s book. And hells yeah I ordered Moceanu’s book the same day as Johnson’s… more from curiosity about the shiz that went down with her family and when her dad stole all her earnings to build the monster gym that never was.
        Sanityinmotion, Hunger Games will not disappoint… though I read it before I knew there would be a movie so just took it for what it was at the time. Read it before seeing the movie though!

      • Dee Says:

        @Aerial…I feel as though the Dom book is a silent drug. Noone wants to admit if they bought it or not, and slowly but surely we come out of the wood work. I really want to know what happened to the Monster Gym That Never Was. It has always elluded me…I tried googling and found nada.

        I totally will give snipets…but I dont want to ruin the entire thing, in case anyone else is curious, too.

        I read anything I can get, as well, regarding gymnastics. Sey’s book was good even if it was somewhat crazy. I have wanted to read Suzanne’s book too, but college gymnastics does not really interest me tooooo much. I’m kind of saving it for when the gym world is silent, ie: after London.

      • terrigymfan Says:

        I admit I ordered Dom’s book too and can’t wait to read it. I am a junkie on gymnastics too. Also I know Dom is a nut but I hate the Karolyis so I can’t wait to read all the trashing she is going to do of them. The only thing is can I wait to after the Olympics to read it? Dee is so right that we are going to need something to fend off post-Olympics depression.

      • elitefan Says:

        Did anyone else read Dominique’s original book, ghost-written at age 13? I was 8 or 9 when that came out and I remember LOVING it. And wondering why my parents never tested my strength with a clothesline.

      • Aerial Says:

        Dee and Teri, I am so glad to have found you. LOL. 🙂

        Elitefan, I never read that one but it’s very impressive at age 8 you had it and were reading it. As a teacher, I say that was above your reading level 😉 I started watching gym in middle school I think.

        Dee, Yoculan’s book was good but agreed, overall the least interesting. A lot of it is about the other less flashy aspects about the job of coaching and internal affairs, etc. with the other programs she worked for too. I still found it interesting and maybe now there would be a renewed interest based on what happened to Jay Clark. Heck, maybe that was his problem all along, he never read it.

  3. JAS4 Says:

    She seems to be a genuinely nice person! Those can be hard I come by these days!

  4. Dee Says:

    Welp, that video made me cry. Thanks GTT, haha!

    I love the story about the text message to Shawn. Shawn handled that night so well, but you know there was one heart broken young lady that night when she was alone in her hotel room. Even worse that she had to share a room with Nastia…almost cruel in a way.

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      I won’t watch that video until I’m at home…I love Michelle Kwan. Like I said before, she’s my all-time favorite athlete. She’s the epitome of what athleticism/talent/role model should be about. Obviously we didn’t hear about that text until Shawn said something about it because you put it perfectly…Michelle isn’t about Michelle.

      You hear that, Nastia?

  5. Tammi Says:

    You hear that Tara? Remember how Tara Lipinski couldn’t wait to tell the story of sending the card with her picture of her holding her gold medal on the front to the injured Chinese gymnast? This is and always has been the difference between Michelle and so many of her rivals!

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      Please refrain from mentioning that name that rhymes with Poughkeepsie. That ingrate idiot is not even worth mentioning. I don’t even want to go into it, but I can give a HUGE rant on that one.

      • terrigymfan Says:

        I love hearing rants Sandy — please do!

        FYI, I am the same person whose name has appeared as “Terri” or “Terri3975” before. I decided to change my moniker.

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      HI Terri 🙂

      I didn’t even know Tara did that with the Chinese gymnast, and so that just makes me hate her more. Seems really horrifyingly rude to me, considering she’s basically putting in that poor girl’s face “See? This is what you COULD HAVE achieved potentially but not any longer now that you’re crippled!” If anything, just write an encouraging note. Don’t put your stupid face on it holding an Olympic gold medal you did NOT deserve. Agh!

      I just remember during the Nagano games hoping against hope Kwan would win gold. She didn’t, but the worst part about it was that Tara did. And then she basically stuck Michelle’s face in it. I was sick when I saw her screaming like a stupid child when the scores went up, jumping up and down. And then on the podium she basically snubbed Michelle (who had obviously been in a back room crying her eyes out for some time) and gave her some lame pat of a hug. Michelle was very professional and handled it like the great person she is, with grace. Tara on the other hand was like a bragging spoiled brat. I was so relieved when she injured her ass later on and never came on the ice again (although I think she just didn’t want to compete anymore because Michelle would kick her ass; guess you might as well leave while you’re on top – something Nastia should have done). Any show she was on or any interview she was doing I never watched, specifically because I couldn’t stand looking at her face without wanting to punch it. I still do. Sadly. She has that type of face.

      I wouldn’t say Michelle deserved the gold in ’98 necessarily; I mean artistry-wise Kwan does something/has something nobody else can TOUCH. Her short program blew everyone away. Her long program however she skated very “safe” and I think she either didn’t do a combo or doubled a jump…maybe both…but she didn’t “attack” it like she should have. I think she did this because of the skating order (of course, she was the first or one of the first ones out there – which I think is entirely unfair; they should just make it so that if you’re first coming off the short program you’re last in the long, but that’s just my opinion)….so I understand why she skated safe. I was pissed that Tara was awarded artistry points when all she did (like most skaters these days anymore) was skate…jump….skate….jump….skate….jump. Another reason why I HATED IRINA SLUTSKAYA. But that’s another rant for another time.

      I guess I could go off more on Tara but I just re-watched Kwan’s short program and would like to leave with that in mind. But seriously – I could make a dart board with Tara’s face on it right after she found out she won the gold and it would be PERFECT.

      • Dee Says:

        baaaahhahahah she makes me want to vomit, also.

        I thought she was some big time actress now? (LOL)

      • terrigymfan Says:

        Too bad we can’t bring back Tonya Harding — now there was a figure skater with class!

        Have you heard about her “wedding night video”?

      • JAS4 Says:

        Wow I hadn’t heard about that one lol but with this five member team now I wouldn’t be surprised to see a gymnastics version of Tonya Harding happen

      • terrigymfan Says:

        Okay, I’m embarrassed to admit I watched this but it was hilarious. One of my husband’s buddies from college brought it over one night in the late 90’s and we watched it for fun with my husband’s buddy and his wife after a few drinks. The video was a few years old even then. The video was of Tonya Harding and her husband (I think his name was Jeff Gillooly) having sex in a cheap motel room on their wedding night. They had obviously set up a video camera on the floor at the end of the bed and recorded everything. Apparently Gillooly took the original with him after he and Tonya got divorced after the whole mess of them trying to break Nancy Kerrigan’s legs at the 1994 Olympics. He sold it to some company that made copies and then sold them to people like my husband’s buddy who bought it from some mail order place.

        The funny thing is the video showed absolutely everything. It was about 20 minutes long if I remember correctly. There is no doubt it was actually Tonya and Gillooly. Those two were the very definition of trailer park trash!

  6. Blake Smith (@bloksmit) Says:

    Michele Kwan is like the exact opposite of Nastia on the ego spectrum.

  7. terrigymfan Says:

    I agree with everyone about Michelle Kwan. I always liked her.

  8. JAS4 Says:

    I’m guessing lordache and Ponor might be capable of Amanars but are any of their other gymnast capable of an Amanar?

  9. terrigymfan Says:

    I know this is not related to the topic of Michelle Kwan but since gym books are mentioned I thought I would share something I found interesting in Jennifer Sey’s book “Chalked Up,” which was published in 2008. Near the end there are a couple of pages in which she talks about the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow. She says at the time she suspected Don Peters, the team’s coach, and Doe Yamashiro were having a fling. Sey also says there was a lot of gossip about it at the time but nobody, including the adults, did anything about it.

    I read Chalked Up about a year ago and remember thinking to myself at the time, “Wow. Sey better hope that’s true because if its not she could be facing a lawsuit.” Of course, last September Doe comes out publicly for the first time and says Peters molested her when she was 16 and they began having sex at 17. So your first thought is, “Sey sure was astute – it turns out what she suspected was in fact true.” But then I read articles that were written last fall after the Peters’ scandal broke where Sey says that Doe told Sey about the whole thing while they were roomates at Stanford in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Sey says for years she has been trying to convince Doe to go public about it but Doe didn’t want to do so, although she finally did in September 2011. Sey of course portrays herself as Doe’s big friend.

    Doesn’t this seem like Sey violated Doe’s trust? I mean Doe told the story about Peters to Sey in confidence and obviously was not prepared to go public with it until September of last year. But here is Sey telling a story about it in her book in 2008. That doesn’t sound like much a friend to me – I can’t imagine Doe wanted Sey to bring attention to the whole episode when she herself wasn’t prepared to do it at the time. I’m also wondering if there were really all these rumors and gossip about it back in 1986. I’m thinking Sey, who had this inside information that Peters molested Doe, put the story in her book about how she “suspected” it back in 1986 so that later, when Doe did go public (which was likely to occur at some point), Doe would look astute. It would also lend credence to a lot of her other claims in the book that the gym world (such that it is rife with sexual misconduct or at least bordlerline sexual misconduct ) which Sey provides little supporting evidence. I also thought it was a bit disengenous of Sey to lead the readers on with this story about rumors of a fling between the two when in fact Sey had been told by Doe it was true – a big piece of information the reader is not given.

    • Dee Says:

      woaaaaaah….when I read the book over a year ago I didnt put these two things together.

      But yes, I would agree that she sort of betrayed Doe…if her friend was not sure about coming out about this fling, then she should not have put it in her book. That’s shitty in my eyes. If I were Sey, I would have left it out.

      • Aerial Says:

        I’m pretty sure Sey had Doe’s permission and that she had pre-read the book. They are still friends. Sey wrote in length about the repercussions of releasing her book and the related coaches trials at her blog.

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      I would hope as a friend that Sey would have reached out to Doe and asked her if it was OK to put that in the book and portray it as a “rumor” and not as fact. Who knows, it might have really helped Doe finally come out with what happened and come to terms with it. I hope Doe is relieved now and has found peace…I couldn’t imagine what she went through – what Peters did was extremely effed up and he should be in jail. I hope he is. He’s had too much free time out there already, coaching other girls. It makes me sick. He should be in jail for life. Who knows how many other young girls he took advantage of.

      • terrigymfan Says:

        If Sey had Doe’s permission that of course makes all the difference in the world. I will say that in general the book is pretty interesting and one I think any parent should read before getting his or her daughter involved in elite gymnastics training. I also think the girls who are most vulnerable are the ones living away from their parents. They typically are staying with a host family but no one really is closely watching them or the relationship they have with their coaches. I think Doe was living away from her family when this occurred. And it is not just potential sexual abuse that might be a problem. Eating disorders, emotional issues, and other problems can develop rather quickly in an environment that intense (not always the fault of the coaches of course). The important thing is for parents to stay closely involved but hopefully do so without smothering their daughters. Not an easy line to walk.

        Like all of you I am so glad Doe is coming to grips with this. I too hope she is finding inner peace now. I also hope there were not more victims than has been reported. Peters coached an awful lot of girls over the years.

      • Dee Says:

        I would guess, since the book came out not long before this was exposed, that she had permission but who knows. EIther that or once the book came out Doe 1. thought, ok I can finally tell everyone what happened now or 2. she felt pressured to tell everyone because the book sort of made people aware of it.

      • terrigymfan Says:

        If Doe didn’t give her permission then Sey more or less forced the issue that resulted in Doe going public, which would have been pretty sorry on Sey’s part in my view. If Doe did give her permission then what Sey did was okay. Will never know the real story I guess.

      • Aerial Says:

        You know what really surprised me? I had heard of Sey but knew nothing about her as an actual gymnast. I read the book and only afterwards youtubed her routines. I was SHOCKED she can’t point her feet in those beam shoes (on floor too she wears them) AT ALL… like Aly Raisins is a prima ballerina in comparison. She really stressed in the book how her artistry pulled her along rather than her power as a gymnast, so she’s pretty lucky to be considered as such in my opinion.
        However, she is clearly highly intelligent and a good writer, and I do respect her for her convictions. Especially being one of the first to rip pervy coaches a new one publically and alienate herself from many until more people jumped on the bandwagon.

      • terrigymfan Says:

        Aerial, notwithstanding my point about how Sey may have handled the Doe issue, I do respect her for having the courage to write her book. I doubt she’s made much money on it. It’s not easy to do something like that. I imagine she has become persona non gratis with most of the gymnastics world.

        I love the 80’s and 90’s era gymnasts but the reality is they don’t compare in terms of form and overall skill to the current gymnasts. It’s sort of like comparing the basketball players of today to those of the 80’s. It’s really only fair to compare a gymnast to other gymnasts of the same era.

      • Aerial Says:

        But people could point their feet in the 80s and 90s.
        j/k I agree with you on everything.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        and keep their legs together. No one these days swings the bars with their feet and legs together. I hate watching bars these days because of it.

  10. terrigymfan Says:

    Need to correct one thing. When I said the story would make “Doe would look astute” I meant to say “Sey would look astute.”

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