Seattle, WA- The iconic and breathtaking gymnast Shanon Miller was a sight to see when she was doing her routines, as well as her upbeat spirit that was displayed in everything that she did. She always had a positive aspect about life, even when she was defeated or had an obstacle to hurdle. In 1993 and 1994 she conquered one of her many goals and that was becoming an All-Around Champion. That was the start of her record-setting career. In 1996 she was an Olympic balance beam champion, and a member of the gold medal-winning Magnificent Seven team at the 1996 Olympics, but what set her apart was her drive.
“There have been so many great memories. The first time I walked into the arena at the Olympic Games was amazing! I was only fifteen years old at my first Olympics in 1992. And, of course, winning gold with my team, the Magnificent Seven, during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and capping off my Olympic career with gold on balance beam. But I think my favorite memories are of the friendships forged. Whether they were athletes in my own club in Oklahoma or competitors on the other side of the world, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to form friendships that are still some of the most important in my life.”
“For me, it was never about the actual medal or trophy. Yes, those were wonderful. However, the driving force me was the challenge of a new skill or of coming as close to a perfect 10.0 on a routine that I possibly could. I loved learning and I loved taking one skill and trying to make it perfect.”
When Miller retired, she was in a class of her own earning 16 World Championships and Olympic medals between 1991 and 1996.
After retiring Miller wanted to give something back, not only to the sports she loved, but an uplifting sense for females, so she invested time, money, and structure with building her company Shannon Miller Lifestyle, which inspired many females.
“My company, Shannon Miller Lifestyle, has a mission to help women make their health a priority. This passion really began after I retired from Olympic competition (at the ripe old age of 19, lol). Through my 20’s I faced many of the issues others my age faced. What do I do with my life? How do I maintain my health and fitness? For me it was a difficult time losing that structure of the sport, moving away from home to go to college and losing much of the self-esteem and confidence that I had gained through gymnastics. I found that I really wasn’t sure how to work out as a “normal” person or the right balance of calories in/calories out. While training I never worried about calories because I was constantly burning so many.”
“I began to think about health outside of sport and in a different way than I had before. As I became more and more involved with women’s health over the years I decided that after law school I wanted to focus on empowering women to make their health a priority. I love that every day is different and that I have the opportunity to focus on everything from fitness and nutrition to cancer, diabetes and heart disease. And at the end of the day, it’s about whether we have provided encouragement, education, awareness or products that can help women feel that focusing on their health is a very positive move. Being healthy allows us to be here for all of those who depend on us.”
In 2011 Miller had germ cell Ovarian Cancer and she fought cancer by having faith and doing what she needed to do with staying healthy. “I relied a great deal on my faith and on lessons learned through sport. These were things like goal setting, perseverance and keeping a positive attitude as much as possible. One of the most important things I had to remember was the importance of teamwork. I had such a wonderful support system in my gymnastics career and I had an amazing support system during my cancer journey. I had to remind myself that it was okay, in fact, it was essential, that I lean on them.”
Miller has always been an athlete that loved her fans, as well as made sure she was available for them as well as her family. Family was something that was rooted in Millers’ genes and she does not take it for granted. Family, morals, and having a positive mindset was something that America admired about Miller. She never stopped loving people she never quit, and she always had a positive message through any adversity.
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