“Take my hand, I won’t let go. We’ve waited so long. And all of my life I’ve walked alone. To you, my heart, my home.”
It would be even longer before they could settle into the midst of marriage and take root in a permanent home. The morning after their wedding, the couple flew to Oakland, California, where East had just been signed at 6:00 a.m. to play with the Raiders. He had been released by August to be picked up by the Los Angeles Rams the following March. This two-month stay was followed by short stops at the Raiders (again), the Jacksonville Jaguars and, most recently, the Washington Redskins.
Despite officially stepping down from gymnastics in 2012 due to a torn ACL, Johnson remains one of the sport’s most public ambassadors. As such, she spent much of 2016 on a cross-country tour with Team USA after serving as a commentator at the Rio de Janeiro Games. All in all, apart from the four months they’d spent at an Oakland Hampton Inn, they’d spent more time apart than together.
“It’s been long months, we’ve been through hard things,” she told People as they neared the 2017 first anniversary. “He was banned from the NFL and tried for another team. We both had stressful times in life.”