About Nastia (6)
Keeping It All In Perspective
Nastia has a very busy schedule every week splitting her time between two training sessions a day and the many other commitments of a professional athlete and student. She was accepted in Southern Methodist University in Dallas to begin her freshman year in 2008 but after trying to juggle her training and academic commitments decided to put college on hold until after the Olympic Games. She plans to enrol this January and hopes to major in international business. She has already featured in a number of international and national television advertising campaigns and in 2006 had a small speaking role in the hit gymnastics themed movie Stick It and would like to continue to pursue any acting and modelling opportunities that may arise.
As for her gymnastics aspirations, Nastia takes it one day at a time enjoying all of the challenges and opportunities that the sport brings her, "I do this for myself. I like the sport. I like everything about it". Rather than dimming her drive to compete, her Olympic experience has only fuelled Nastia's desire to return to competition. She returned to full time training in January 2009 setting new goals and dreams. First stop, the 2009 VISA Championships and a chance to compete for the first time in front of her hometown crowd in Dallas. After that, she hopes to achieve selection in the team for the 2009 World Championships and the chance to become the most decorated American gymnast in world level competition in her own right. As she has throughout her career, Nastia is only interested in talking about short-term goals taking her gymnastics journey day by day, month by month and year by year enjoying achieving and setting new goals for herself along the way. As to 2012 and a return to the Olympics ... only time will tell.
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.