Nastia Liukin Biography
Birthdate: October 30, 1989
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
This 18-year-old gymnastics star became a household name these past few weeks after capturing gold at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing! We have the 411 on Nastia!
Growing UpNastia Liukin was born with gymnastic genes in her blood. Her father was a gold medal gymast at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and her mom was a World Champion rhythmic gymnast. Although she was born in Moscow, she moved to Texas when she was just 3-years-old. Her parents opened the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, TX, so Nastia was around the sport before she could walk. By the time she was 12, she was a member of the U.S. junior national team. She is a two-time junior all-around U.S. National Champion as well as a two-time senior U.S. National all-around champion.
2008 OlympicsAfter an ankle injury idelined Nastia for much of the 2007 season, she came back strong in 2008 She won the all around competition at the American Cup. At the U.S. Olympic trials, Nastia was second only to rival and friend Shawn Johnson in the all around, but managed to take first place in the uneven bars. In Beijing, Nastia shocked the world by taking home gold in the all around competion. She also took home three siver medals and one bronze medal. Nastia has tied Shannon Miller's U.S. record of nine medals in World Championship competition.
Special TalentNastia is famous for her ballet-like grace when she does her routines. She has incredible all-around skills and has the ability to perform difficult tricks. On the uneven bars (her best event), Nastia can perform an Ono-half with ease. She also can do a good front aerial to Arabesque on the beam as wel as a double-front on the floor.
Nastia Says..."I would love to be out there like Mary Lou. You ask any person in the U.S. and they know who Mary Lou Retton is. And I hope that in four, five and six years from now, people will still know that I became the Olympic champion in Beijing - the biggest Olympic games yet. At the same time I would love to stay in gymnastics too, so I hope to do both of them if that's possible. Gymnastics has set me up for this and I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for gymnastics so I'd like to stay involved in gymnastics even if I am not competing. I also want to get out there in the world and do some acting and fashion and modeling."