SJ: It’s just a part of sports. It’s a very high impact sport you’re doing, and at such a young age when you’re growing and developing. So, it’s bound to happen. I don’t know that there’s any way to prevent it except for eating healthy, living healthy, doing rehab, doing physical therapy, taking care of yourself. But, again, that’s just part of the sport.
TG: You’re going on Dancing with the Stars again after this, but do you have plans for what you want to do after that?
SJ: I can’t even think about Dancing With the Stars now. I have no idea what I’m going to do afterwards. College is a big things for me, though. I’m sure as soon as Dancing With the Stars is over I’ll be doing SATs, and getting scores, and taking tours and really getting that plan down because it’s something I want to do.
TG: Do you know what you’d like to study?
SJ: I have a few ideas. I feel like I’ll come out with two different majors and minors. I have interests in all different fields. But I’ve always wanted to go into business to help what I do now. But also, just being in the sport I am, I’d love to study exercise physiology, and nutrition and health, and see how I could relate it back to all of this, and help my teammates .
TG: Do you end up making friends with a lot of people from different teams? What are the dynamics of that like? Do you tend to see them as competition?
SJ: Honestly, we see each other as friends and family. It’s almost like as soon as you see [other athletes], you almost have a common connection. When you get to such an elite level you’re kind of alienated from everybody around you, because you’re on such a different platform. Or people put you on a different platform. But when I’m with all the other Olympians we connect that way, so it doesn’t matter what country or what sport, we all get along and fall under the same umbrella. I’ve had friends that I’ve had since 2008 that I think I’ll have for the rest of my life.
TG: Do you ever miss having a normal teenage experience? You’re doing this at such a young age, and are forced to be professional at an age when as a lot of people are being encouraged to make their mistakes.