Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson was a hero to millions when she won four medals at the 2008 Summer Games, and she is now celebrating “Everyday Heroes” with Livestrong.com by teaming up for a special fitness event.
The 2017 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame honoree recently hosted an elite workout at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California, where she offered up life advice to female entrepreneurs — after putting them through their paces in a sweat-inducing gymnastics-inspired workout, of course.
While she may seem fearless on the balance beam, there are plenty of things that Johnson has been afraid of, she told TheWrap, and a lot of those fears were faced while appearing as an investor on CNBC’s reality series “Adventure Capitalists.”
“It’s a ‘Shark Tank’-style investment show but we do these death-defying adventure stunts and try out new products,” the former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant explained. “When it was pitched to me, it sounded like a blast and was all outside — not in a boardroom — getting down and dirty, and I just loved it.
“We’ve had everything on there from different types of mountain bikes, jet skis, snowmobiles and dirt bikes to a sling shot and a GPS system in race cars, so it’s a bit of everything in all sorts of elements.”
The crux of the show involves the entrepreneur making a pitch and then Johnson and her co-investors — most often former Olympic skier and NFL player Jeremy Bloom and NFL linebacker Dhani Jones — taking the products out for a test drive … on snow, ice, or in water.
“We then negotiate, and if we offer to invest in the company, we do our due diligence after the show to promote it and become partners,” Johnson said.
The coolest thing so far? “A mountain bike that they took the wheels off and put skis on the bottom, we went down an Olympic mountain course on it,” she said. “It was something that intimidated me so much, but actually was pretty easy to learn how to do.
“I felt out of my element a lot,” Johnson admitted. “There was one time when we cut a hole in an ice-covered lake and had to jump down it to test out this snow gear that was meant to keep you warm in freezing cold water.” Spoiler alert: The suit didn’t keep them warm.
While she was a tomboy growing up, Johnson, now 25, wasn’t allowed to try a lot of new things as she had to stay healthy for gymnastics, so she’s now relishing being forced out of her comfort zone. “Now, I’m willing to try anything but am pretty new to it all,” she said.
As for working with Livestrong.com and Del Monte for the “Everyday Health Heroes” event, that was a no-brainer for Johnson as her family has long been involved with the Livestrong.com brand.
“I’ve been a huge fan of them and a follower of the company for a long time,” she said. “I love everything they stand for with the fitness and health/wellness side of it. I have not done anything officially with them before, so was excited to do this.
“I was a trainer for Nike for a few years and I also coach gymnastics all the time. I’m used to leading 200 kids so a group of adults was a lot easier!” Johnson said, who was joined by Livestrong.com General Manager Jess Barron and 50 health, wellness and fitness enthusiasts for the HIIT, gold medal podium bound workout.
Season 2 of “Adventure Capitalists” premieres on CNBC at 10 p.m ET on Oct. 10.