Nastia Liukin – artistic gymnast
Nastia Liukin is an American artistic gymnast, 2005 and 2007 world champion, four-time U.S. champion (twice junior), absolute Olympic champion. In addition, she was a silver medalist in team competitions in gymnastics at 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Anastasia was born in Moscow on October 30, 1989. She is the only child of well-known Soviet athletes: 1988 Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin, the first man to do a triple backflip, and 1987 World Champion, rhythmic gymnast Anna Kotchneva.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, 2,5-year-old Nastya and her parents moved to New Orleans, and then to Texas. Liukin is fluent in English and Russian. You know, Anastasia and her family are members of the Russian Orthodox church.
Cute girl began doing gymnastics after spending time in the gym while her parents coached. Actually, Nastia is coached by her father at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, her family’s gymnastics club in Plano, Texas.
In spring 2007, she graduated from the Academy of Spring Creek, located in Plano, Texas. Later, in January 2008, she entered the Southern Methodist University, but took time off to concentrate on preparing for the Olympic Games in Beijing.
In 2002, Liukin took part in her first major competition – U.S. Junior Nationals, but fell from the bars and became the 15th. Also, she represented the United States at the Pan American Games in 2002, and won gold.
By 2003, Liukin had become one of the strongest gymnasts of the U.S. youth team. Talented girl was the winner at the U.S. National Championships and won three gold medals in individual events: bars, beam and floor exercise. Moreover, in 2004 she repeated this achievement.
Besides, Liukin was a member of the U.S. team that won the Pan American Games in 2003. In addition, she won the all-around championship in the Pacific in 2004.
In 2005, Liukin won her first senior national championship. At the World Championships in Melbourne she became the first. She was the best in the America’s Cup in March 2006.
A year later, in 2007, she hurt her ankle and it required surgery. Because of the long recovery period Liukin missed most of the national and international competitions that year. Despite the limited opportunities for training in the summer of 2007 Liukin decided to participate in the all-around at the U.S. Nationals. She received the highest score ever obtained on the parallel bars, and showed the second result on the balance beam.
Later, in June 2008, Liukin participated in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Philadelphia, took the second place and went to Beijing as a member of the national team. All in all, Anastasia won five Olympic medals.
After the Olympics, Liukin was a guest on many talk shows, including Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Also, she appeared in an episode of Gossip Girl and in the second season of Make It or Break It.
As far as I know, Liukin’s gymnastic career came to an end after the 2012 Olympic Trials.
From January 2013 to May 2016, Liukin studied at the New York University, studying sports management and psychology.
In February 2010, People Magazine claimed that Nastia dated figure skater Evan Lysacek. However, Evan said they were just close friends.
On June 1, 2015, Nastia announced an engagement with her friend Matt Lombardi, who played hockey for Boston College.
Her official site: www.nastialiukin.com