Nastia is an Senior International Elite gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic All Around Champion, five time Olympic medalist, four time World Champion, nine time World medalist, four time US National Champion and has won two American Cup titles and both a Senior and Junior Pacific Rim Championship. Following her success in Beijing Nastia was named FIG Athlete of the Year, Womens Sports Foundation Individual Sportswoman of the Year and the United States Sports Academys Female Athlete of the Year. In 2007 she joined 1996 Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller as the most decorated American gymnast in World Championship competition.
Anastasia "Nastia" Liukin was born to Anna and Valeri Liukin on October 30, 1989 in Moscow, Russia. When she was two and a half years old, her parents decided to move from Russia to the USA where they reside today. As the daughter of two gymnasts who each earned the title of World and/or Olympic Champion in their careers and who became gymnastics coaches themselves it was only natural that Nastia found herself in the gym from a very young age. Unable to afford a babysitter during their early years in the USA, Valeri and Anna were forced to bring Nastia to the gym while they worked. The gym was the ultimate playground, "I was always running around and on the bars, and that's kind of how I started," she remembers. Soon Nastia began mimmicking the other children in the gym even copying and performing their floor routines at the side of the gym.
Her parents, all too aware of just how tough the sport can be, never intended for Nastia to become a gymnast - certainly not at the elite level. However it was difficult to ignore her talent and her desire to be involved in gymnastics. Nastia began competing earlier than most at the age of six. She doesn't remember much about her first competition except that she was so late arriving that she did not get a chance to warm up before her first event floor. By the time she was 12 years old, Nastia was an Elite gymnast.
Since 1994, WOGA Gymnastics has proudly hosted the WOGA Classic, which attracts top teams from across the USA and the world. As one of the largest and longest running International competitions in the United States, the WOGA Classic brings together a magnificent field of competitors and is an outstanding opportunity to compete with future Olympic stars.
This year we’re excited to offer two outstanding venues in Frisco, Texas just 20 minutes north of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.
We hope you will join us for a weekend of great competition, fun and festivities. Whether you’re an athlete or spectator – don’t miss one of the great gymnastics events of the year as WOGA Gymnastics, home to back-to-back Olympic Champions Nastia Liukin (2008) and Carly Patterson (2004), welcomes the world.
The 2002 US Classic was Nastia's breakthrough competition. She entered the event as a relative unknown but left as the the all around bronze medalist (behind future Olympic Champion Carly Patterson and 2003 World Uneven Bars Champion Hollie Vise), the silver medal on balance beam and earning top five placings on both uneven bars and floor exercise. This performance helped Nastia achieve the first of many career goals in earning her the opportunity to compete at the USA Championships. She fought back from a scary fall on the uneven bars in the preliminary round at the Championships to earn a place on the Junior National Team. Selection to represent her country for the first time in a dual meet against Canada and at then at the Junior Pan American Games soon followed. It was the beginning of a dominant junior international elite career that saw Nastia twice crowned US National Champion, win four individual Junior Pacific Alliance gold medals and also not only earn selection on the Senior Pan American Games team but return from the Games as a five time medalist.
Remarkably Nastia was undefeated in junior all around competition from January 2003 until she became a senior in January 2005.
Into The Big Time
2005 was Nastia's first year as a Senior International Elite. Her season began at the WOGA Classic where she won five gold medals after originally intending to only compete on uneven bars and beam. Soon after she traveled to New York to compete in her first major international event - the American Cup which in 2005 made its debut on the World Cup Circuit. Nastia was selected to represent the USA on uneven bars and beam, easily qualifying through to the final on each. She put aside thoughts of an uncharacteristic fall on the bars to put in a strong performance on balance beam and share the American Cup title with China's Zhang Nan.
In April the USA Women toured Europe to train with and compete against the National Teams of the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The US woman easily won both team competitions while individually Nastia proved to be the dominant individual US gymnast winning the all around in both dual meets by more than a point. While on tour she also debuted a newly re-worked routine on uneven bars and a 3.5 twist on floor exercise.
It was not until July that Nastia returned to competition appearing at US Classic for the first time since 2003. Having already successfully qualified to Nationals by way of her strong performances internationally earlier in the season, she felt comfortable to compete her quadruple twist on floor exercise - becoming the first American gymnast to ever attempt the skill. Nastia's father achieved a similar feat during his elite career when he was the first gymnast to compete a triple back salto on floor exercise - a skill that has rarely been seen in competition since. She went on to win her first US Classic title as a senior as well as gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam. Nastia's highly successful national season came to a close in Indianapolis at the VISA USA Championships. She entered the event as one the favorites for the title but a scary fall on her dismount from balance beam left her in only 3rd place following the preliminary round. An impressive finals comeback - including a season high 9.800 on balance beam - helped her to her third consecutive National All Around title - though importantly her first as a senior. She also won event gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam as well as a silver on floor exercise.
Nursing a slight knee injury and with the selection camp for the World Championships on the horizon, Nastia decided miss the Pan American Championships and concentrate her efforts on her preparation for the World Championships.
A Dream Realized
In November Nastia achieved one of her career goals by being selected as a member of a World Championship Team. She arrived in Melbourne with as much anticipation and expectation on her shoulders as any athlete at the championships, eager to put a recent knee injury behind her and show her best performances. She would not disappoint going through the competition without major error and collected four medals. In one of the closest all around finals ever contested, Nastia won the silver medal behind teammate Chellsie Memmel - a staggering 0.001 was all that seperated the gymnasts. "Winning the silver medal feels great. I've been working really hard for this so it's great to get the silver medal.
To get a reward for all the training I have done, that's really good." Victories in the uneven bars and balance beam finals followed as well as a silver medal on floor exercise. Nastia returned from Melbourne as a two time World Champion and the most decorated gymnast at the Championships. It seemed particularly appropriate that she taste her first World Championship success in Australia because it was while on tour there before the 1988 Olympics that her parents were first introduced.