The glittering leotard is in place. The hair is tied with two small ponytails. A look of fearless determination rivaling Shawn Johnson herself appears on Drew’s face. The 2-year-old looks just like her Olympic gold medalist mother in a new video from her first gymnastics class at Johnson’s former gymnasium – and she’s already a little star on the balance beam!
Johnson took Drew, who she shares with husband Andrew East, to Chow Institute of Gymnastics and Dance in Des Moines, Iowa, yesterday. She posted a video of the toddler clutching the stable rings, falling into a foam pit (with perfectly pointy feet!) and giving former Johnson trainer Liang Chow a high-five. But the coolest moment was when Drew stepped on the same balance beam his mom had been training on before. she won a gold medal on the balance beam at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. What a fantastic looping moment for the athlete, who is also mum to 1-year-old son Jett.
“It was such a special day,” Johnson captioned the sweet video. “@drewhazeleast met my gym coach and played in the gym.”
The crowd — er, the Instagram comments section — applauded Drew. “I can’t.. she’s the best.. she already looks like a real pro 😅🙌🏻👊🏻❤️ bless her!!!!!!!” one person wrote.
“Omg the legend continues,” said another.
“The way she just JUMPED in that pit,” one person praised.
“That takedown and her pointy feet…ok girlfriend! 😍,” someone else commented. “She’s definitely spunky and looks like she’s having a good time. That’s what I like to see in your kids. They’re not afraid to have fun (even at the expense of your nerves 🤣).”
Johnson also posted a longer video of their day on The East Family YouTube Channel. “This is one of my favorite videos. Taking Drew to the gym I grew up in and realizing my dreams were beyond special,” wrote Johnson, who also won three silver medals at the Olympics in 2008. “Seeing how happy she was… I have no words. I hope you enjoy this video as much as we do.”
The nearly 10-minute video begins with Johnson doing a flip on the trampoline, then Drew practicing his tumbling. Short and chubby thighs! The layer that comes out of the leotard! It’s incredible.
“We’re back at Chow’s Gymnastics, I trained here for 20 years,” Johnson says in the video. “He was the coach who brought me to the Olympics, and I think it’s time to come back. But this time, with this one.
“First meeting with Chow,” she says as she picks up Drew, then adds jokingly, “First workout.” Johnson’s parents, Teri and Doug Johnson, also came to watch.
East commented that Drew’s favorite place in the gym was the tumbling track. “I think she spent two hours there and she was the sweatiest little girl I’ve ever felt in my entire life and also so tired at the end,” Johnson said.
“She really opened up about the trampoline because she found her happy little place,” Johnson added. “Which full loop moment was why I started gymnastics. I went to an open gym, found the trampoline, spent two hours on the trampoline and my mom signed me up for lessons Trampolining made me believe I could fly and that’s when I fell in love with the sport Teri revealed that Johnson was only 5 when he first she met Chow and started training with him.
Even Jett got in on the action! Chow held him against the beam, which he used as a teether in an adorable moment that made Chow laugh back.
They also talked about Drew’s penchant for the balance beam. “Drew naturally gravitated towards the balance beam, which you were pretty good at,” East joked.
“I was fine,” Johnson laughed, then shared that his daughter had been able to walk on the same balance beam Johnson had been training on.
At one point in the video, East asked if the experience was weird for her, and Johnson replied, “It’s like the most reliable place for me. So, yes and no.
Although she is clear that she does not push her children to gymnastics, she knows that if they Choose to get into the sport, she will bring them to Coach Chow.
“I want Drew and Jett to do whatever they feel called to do in life, whatever sport, hobby, passion, activity,” Johnson said in the video. “But if one of them chooses gymnastics, there’s no one else in the world I want to coach them but Chow.”
Who knows? Maybe Drew will compete in the 2036 Summer Olympics!