updated 06/03/2012 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/03/2012 AT 5:25 PM ET
Shawn Johnson, one of the most popular gymnasts in recent memory, has announced her retirement from the sport. She was hoping to make the 2012 Olympic team.
“I still have the heart, drive, and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics,” Johnson – who had been making a comeback from recurring knee problems – announced in a statement Sunday.
“Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer,” said the gymnast, 20, who won four Olympic and three World career medals. “All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey.”