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As Jordyn Wieber aims for Olympic stardom, she has already achieved a huge goal: A spot on a cereal box.
While a potential shot at a gold medal waits in London, gymnastics star Jordyn Wieber has already achieved a special type of Olympic immortality — a spot in the cereal aisle.
The boxes came on Wednesday, prompting the 17-year-old from Michigan to tweet, “Look what was delivered to my house today! Can’t wait for them to be on shelves.’’
“I was so excited,’’ Wieber told TODAY.com. “I never thought I would be on the front of a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box. It was the most surreal thing. Even just recently, walking through the grocery store and seeing Summer Sanders and Kerri Walsh on there, it’s just so cool to see all those Olympians and know that’s going to be me next.’’
Getting a spot on a box also illustrates the high expectations for Wieber, who is the reigning world all-around champion. Now she just needs to do her best to bring home a gold, which then may lead to another one of her major goals — meeting Justin Bieber. Hanging with the Biebs, of course, is #2.
“I have to say the gold medal would be probably a lot cooler,’’ she said. “Meeting Justin Bieber would be awesome, too.’’
She is hoping to spread “Wieber Fever’’ from the Midwest all the way to London after years of support from her hometown and fellow students at Dewitt High School in Dewitt, Mich. To keep the "fever" from spreading, her supporters will often wear surgical masks and T-shirts imprinted with the malady.
Jordyn has caught “Wieber Fever’’ herself — her older brother, Ryan, was a star quarterback at Dewitt who inspired his own following during a state playoff run in the fall. Jordyn was right there with her own costume surgical mask in the stands, cheering him on.
“It’s a lot of fun just knowing that I can share that spotlight with my brother,’’ she said. “We can both have our different sports and it’s exciting to see him do well."
Jeff Roberson / AP
Jordyn Wieber takes a leap on the balance beam during the women's senior division at the U.S. gymnastics championships on June 10.
The elite gymnast has maintained a sense of normalcy during her ascension to stardom by continuing to attend her local high school.
“I think just staying in school part-time has helped me a lot. It balances out my lifestyle," she said. "I’m able to go to training and then go to school, which takes my mind off gymnastics. Having a different group of friends outside of gymnastics has also definitely helped me over the years.’’
To fulfill her golden goal in London, Wieber will have to break a jinx that goes back to well before she was born. Since 1972, only one woman has won the all-around title at the World Championships and then followed that with an Olympic all-around title. No American woman has accomplished the feat in the last 40 years, as Shawn Johnson won the world all-around title in 2007 but took second behind teammate Nastia Liukin in the 2008 Olympics.
“I try not to think about the jinx too much,’’ Wieber said. “I try to focus on my own training, but it definitely makes me want to reach that goal even more and make it to the top of that podium.’’
Wieber has an intense focus she has shown in tight competitions like the recent national championships. With fellow Olympic hopeful Gabby Douglas neck-and-neck with her throughout, Wieber won the all-around title by just 0.2 points over Douglas.
“I think it motivates me a little bit more just knowing the scores are so close, and knowing that I’m going to need to get every tenth out of every routine helps me do better in the competition,’’ Wieber said. “I think a lot of it just comes from my personality, but at the same time I have to practice every day. I do a lot with all the girls in the gym watching me at one time and translate that over to the whole crowd having their eyes on me at one time. I think I train my mind to compete under pressure.’’
Anointed American gymnastics' “it girl,’’ Wieber is ready, post-trials, to take on that pressure in London, which may be her best shot at Olympic accolades. The window of time for gymnastics stardom can often be short. Liukin, only 22, is now fighting just to get a spot on the team at the upcoming trials.
“I think every gymnast is different, and some girls are coming back at an older age, but this is my time right now,’’ she said. “I just try to put everything I have into this year and this summer.’’
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