Nastia Liukin

Nastia Liukin is a retired American gymnast of Russian heritage. Nastia won nine world championships. Both of her parents were also Russian champion gymnasts.

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Why is nastia liukin famous?

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She is the 2008 Olympic All Around Champion in women's artistic gymnastics.
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What does nastia liukin eat?

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Her favorite food is sushi
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When did nastia liukin stop gymnastics?

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Her last competition was the 2012 US Olympic trials.
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What records has Nastia Liukin set?

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She has tied the records Shannon Miller set for total world championships medals and total medals earned in one Olympics.
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Where did nastia liukin go to college?

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She took some classes at SMU and now attends NYU.
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Are Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson friends?

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They are very good friends. They chose to share a room while they were in Bejjing. They are very close and always root for each other.
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When did nastia liukin start homeschooling?

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Nastia didnt do homeschooling she went to a private school called spring creek academy in plano Texas that has half day classes
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Does nastia liukin live in Wisconsin?

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No. She lives in New York. She was born in Russia, then she moved to Louisiana, Then to Texas and now, she lives in New York.
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Was Nastia Liukin born in a hospital?

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Anastasia Valeryevna "Nastia" Liukin (Russian: Анастасия "Настя" Валерьевна Люкина (Anastasiya "Nastya" Valeryevna Lyukina); born October 30, 1989. She was born in a hospital in Russia. We do not know the hospital where she was born, most likely because she immigrated and Russia wants to protect the records of their past citizens.
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When was Nastia Liukin born?

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Nastia Liukin was born on October 30, 1989.
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When does Nastia Liukin train?

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all the time! as an elite, she trains monday-friday for about 7 or 8 hours! long days, eh?
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Are Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson pros?

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Ofcourse they are.They even did gmnastics at the Olimpics.
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What is the email of Nastia Liukin?

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She used to have a dream cast account, but some fans where abusing it. You can always go to her website at www.nastialiukin.com
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How tall is nastia liukin?

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According to her offical site,IMDb and the NBCOlympic site and the Bejjing Olympics site she is 5'3"
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Is Nastia Liukin a Christian?

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Russian orthodox
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What Highlights or Awards has Nastia Liukin had?

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She's the World Champion on beam for two years, and the World Champion on bars as well. She won All-Around CHampion at the 2008 Olympics. She has won lesser known awards and titles, but they can be Googled.
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What rank is Nastia Liukin?

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Nastia Liukin's is an elite gymnast. As of 2008 she is considered the best gymnast in the world. Nastia has the highest rank in gymnastics.
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Nastia Liukin middle name?

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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. Finding Her Way Junior Dominance 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. A Senior At Last 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. World Champion A Dream Realised 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 separated 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. Stick It Onto The Big Screen 2005 was not all about gymnastics competition for Nastia. Prior to the US Classic she was invited, alongside many other current and former elite gymnasts, to take part in the filming of a new gymnastics themed feature film. Nastia spent three days on the set of Stick It filming many action sequences as well as a small speaking part in the movie. The movie was released to US audiences in April 2006 before opening in many countries around the world. In addition to appearing in the movie, three of Nastia's routines are included as part of the special features on the DVD release of the movie. It was a fantastic experience for Nastia particularly as she hopes to pursue and acting career in the future. New Beginnings Onward and Upward 2006 brought many changes to the sport of gymnastics. Since Nadia Comaneci first showed the world perfection at the 1976 Olympic Games, gymnasts throughout the world have attempted to emulate her achievements by scoring an elusive Perfect 10. This year, following a review of the sport by the FIG significant and all emcompassing changes to the Code of Points that govern the judging of the sport have been introduced. The "Perfect 10" has been replaced with an open ended scoring system that rewards a gymnast seperately on difficulty and execution. Just as at the end of any Olympic cycle, Nastia like most elite gymnasts needed time to adjust her skills and routines to the new code of points. On her return from Melbourne she wasted little time in getting back into training to start making the necessary upgrades and changes to make sure that her routines fitted the new code of points. So significant were the changes to the scoring system that this process will be ongoing for some time yet. While Nastia did not compete in the early months of 2006, she joined her Melbourne teammates in a short tour to celebrate their history making achievements performing individual and group exhibition routines as well as answering questions and signing autographs for their fans. Nastia returned to competition in Philadelphia at the American Cup in March. The event, which returned to its traditional all around format in 2006, was also Nastia's first hit out under the new code of points. She easily qualified through to the all around final where, despite a fall from beam, she won her first American Cup all around title as well as taking first place on uneven bars and floor exercise. A month later Nastia was selected for her first Senior Pacific Alliance Team and travelled to Hawaii to take on the best gymnasts in the Pacific Rim. The US women easily won the team title while Nastia and Chellsie Memmel fought out another intense individual competition eventually becoming joint All Around Champions. Nastia also won a gold medal on the uneven bars and a silver on balance beam. After the competition she was excited to be able to join members of the cast and crew from Stick It at the Los Angeles premiere! In July Nastia travelled to Kansas City for the US Classic. Already qualified to the VISA Championships courtesy of her performance at the 2005 World Championships, she used the competition as an opportunity to test out her upgraded uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise routines. She also unveiled her brand new floor routine choreographed to Dark Eyes. Falls from the uneven bars and floor exercise held her to fourth place all around but she won a gold medal on balance beam earning her first score in excess of 16 points under the new code of points. Less than a month later her she won her fourth consecutive National title, her second as s senior, after holding off a strong challenge from Natasha Kelley (the 2005 Junior National Champion) and an uncharacterisitcally "off" second evening. Her performances in Minnesota included three scores over 16 points earning her the gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam. She was also named USAG Co-Athlete of the Year alongside Chellsie Memmel while Valeri collected the Coach of the Year award. Aarhus An Unexpected Interuption Fresh from her highly succcessful National campaign, Nastia entered the selection process for the World Championship team with confidence. She easily progressed through the first selection camp and returned to the Ranch for the final verification camp ready to cement a place on the team for the Aarhus World Championships. Then disaster - an awkward landing on the tumbletrak resulted in an ankle injury that put her chances of competing at Worlds in severe jepardy. Intensive rehabilitation started immediately and while her participation in the Championships would be restricted to a single event, she was excited to be named on the team and to have the opportunity to contribute as strongly as she could to the US campaign to win the team gold medal. It was a fighting performance from the US women in Aarhus with Chellsie Memmel also suffering an injury in the lead up to the event. Nastia landed her first dismount since the accident during Podium Training. The US women showed their power during the first round of the competition, beating all other teams by more than 2 points. Nastia earned the highest score on any event during the preliminary round to qualify for her second uneven bars final and the team entered the final confident that they would strongly challenge for the gold medal. As has been the case since the introduction of the 6-3-3 team final format, nothing is certain in a major team final. While the US team counted two falls in an uncharacteristically inconsistent day, the team from China were powerful and consistent and in the end snatched the gold medal. Nastia's second World Championships campaign ended when she earned a silver medal in the uneven bars final behind Great Britain's Beth Tweddle. Given the circumstances of the previous fortnight, it was hard to be disappointed to leave the event with two silver medals. From Aarhus Nastia travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to make her second appearance in an FIG Gala celebrating her 17th birthday during her stay. When she returned to Texas, she underwent surgery on her injured ankle. She spent the rest of the year allowing her ankle to heal and preparing for the 2007 season. A Long Road The Journey Back Although her surgery was a success Nastia's return to competition in 2007 proved to take longer than anyone expected. As anticipated she sat out the American Cup, attending the competition as a spectator for the first time in two years. Her recovery, while progressing slowly, was going well with her ankle responding to rehabilitation. Already training skills on beam and bars, she was even hopeful of earning a place on the National team tour to Europe in April. Then, seemingly without reason, as she was beginning to step up her preparation for the important meets of the Summer, her ankle began to swell after every training session. This setback hampered her ability to train as she had wanted, particularly limiting her ability to train anything on the pounding events vault and floor exercise. Reassured by doctors that her ankle surgery had been successful and her ankle was looking strong she persisted and made her return to competition at the Pan American Games, as a bars and beam specialist. The US performed brilliantly to win the gold medal and Nastia debuted her new uneven bars routine including her double front dismount, individually winning two silver medals on uneven bars and balance beam. The race was then on to be ready to compete all around at the VISA Championships just four weeks after the Pan American Games. It was only in July that she seriously began to work back towards competing on vault and floor exercise but she was determined to have a chance to defend her National title and more importantly to show the world that she was still an all around gymnast. By her own admission Nastia entered the championships at about 80% fitness. Although she struggled throughout the competition, particularly on floor and vault, she was overjoyed to just be out competing across four events again and left San Jose with a bronze medal in the all around, her third straight national uneven bars title and a silver medal on the balance beam. She was also named as a member of the World Championship team and vowed that the two weeks between Nationals and the start of competition in Stuttgart would be enough for her to find the extra strength she needed to contend for the all around title at the World Championships. Twice a Champion Back on top in Germany True to her word, the two weeks between Nationals and Worlds proved to be enough time for Nastia to finalise her comeback. She arrived in Stuttgart a more confident athlete with the extra training numbers behind her. She competed exceptionally well in the preliminary round, aiding the US to a dominant team performance and also finishing as the second highest qualifier for the individual all around behind Romania's Steliana Nistor. In addition she earned places to compete in the both the uneven bars and balance beam finals. Nastia and her teammates (Ivana Hong, Shawn Johnson, Samantha Peszek, Alicia Sacramone and Shayla Worley) became only the second team from the United States to win a World Championship Team Gold Medal. They are also the first team from the United States to win the title off home soil. Ultimately this achievement lead to the United States Olympic Committee naming them as Team of the Year 2007. In her individual finals Nastia finished fifth in the all around counting a fall from the balance beam, second on uneven bars and regained her World title on balance beam. With this performance Nastia joined Shannon Miller as America's most decorated gymnast in World Championship competition. Chasing The Dream The Road Continues Buoyed by her success at the 2007 World Championships, Nastia returned home and began making the adjustments to her routines she felt she needed for the Olympic season. After narrowly missing the gold medal on the uneven bars at the two previous World Championships, Nastia and Valeri were determined to come up with a routine that would make her stand out from the crowd. They certainly achieved this goal creating a routine with an A score value of 7.7. More than half a point higher than the routine she had competed in Stuttgart. Nastia admited that she could barely believe it possible until she saw the skills on paper. The changes were not limited to uneven bars. While her father was overseas with another WOGA national team member, Nastia also came up with a new skill to add to her balance beam routine. The skill, a salto forward piked, take off from one leg to one foot landing to scale, held for two seconds has been provisionally been given a D value. Although other gymnasts have competed a similar skill in tucked position, Nastia is hoping that the International Gymnastics Federation will name her variation the 'Liukin' if she successfully competes in World or Olympic competition. Her father Valeri has a number of skills named after him in the Code of Points. Nastia returned to competition in March with a victory at the American Cup ahead of teammate Shawn Johnson. She debuted her new skills and combinations earning career best scores on two events despite having some problems with the main combination of her new bar routine. Soon after she was asked to join the team for the Pacific Rim Championships in San Jose. In her third appearance at this event she led the combined Junior and Senior team to victory and personally won the senior all around and balance beam titles and collected a silver medal on uneven bars. The long Summer of meets began with the VISA Championships in Boston in early June. Nastia entered the event as one of the favorites, determined to put the memories of the previous year behind her. Despite faltering on her open routine of the competition, she competed exceptionally well becoming the first American gymnast to score in excess of 17.00 for a single event (for her uneven bars in both prelims and finals) and broke 64 points for the all around making her the top scorer in the Finals. Over the two days of competition she earned the silver medal in the all around behind Johnson and also won national titles on both uneven bars and balance beam. This performance qualified her to the Olympic Team Trials in Philadelphia in mid-June where Nastia's performance bought about the realisation of her dream, selection on the team for the 2008 Olympic Team. Beyond the Chalk 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 Summer. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in international business or acting. She has already featured in a number of international and national television advertising campaigns and in 2006 had a small speaking role in the smash hit gymnastics themed movie Stick It. 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". Competing at the 2008 Olympic Games has always been her dream and finally the Olympic year has arrived. Nastia is working hard to earn selection on the team, admitting that it would be particularly special to share this experience with her father and coach Valeri, who represented the USSR at the Olympic Games in Seoul exactly 20 years ago. 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. Finding Her Way Junior Dominance 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. A Senior At Last 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. World Champion A Dream Realised 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 separated 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. Stick It Onto The Big Screen 2005 was not all about gymnastics competition for Nastia. Prior to the US Classic she was invited, alongside many other current and former elite gymnasts, to take part in the filming of a new gymnastics themed feature film. Nastia spent three days on the set of Stick It filming many action sequences as well as a small speaking part in the movie. The movie was released to US audiences in April 2006 before opening in many countries around the world. In addition to appearing in the movie, three of Nastia's routines are included as part of the special features on the DVD release of the movie. It was a fantastic experience for Nastia particularly as she hopes to pursue and acting career in the future. New Beginnings Onward and Upward 2006 brought many changes to the sport of gymnastics. Since Nadia Comaneci first showed the world perfection at the 1976 Olympic Games, gymnasts throughout the world have attempted to emulate her achievements by scoring an elusive Perfect 10. This year, following a review of the sport by the FIG significant and all emcompassing changes to the Code of Points that govern the judging of the sport have been introduced. The "Perfect 10" has been replaced with an open ended scoring system that rewards a gymnast seperately on difficulty and execution. Just as at the end of any Olympic cycle, Nastia like most elite gymnasts needed time to adjust her skills and routines to the new code of points. On her return from Melbourne she wasted little time in getting back into training to start making the necessary upgrades and changes to make sure that her routines fitted the new code of points. So significant were the changes to the scoring system that this process will be ongoing for some time yet. While Nastia did not compete in the early months of 2006, she joined her Melbourne teammates in a short tour to celebrate their history making achievements performing individual and group exhibition routines as well as answering questions and signing autographs for their fans. Nastia returned to competition in Philadelphia at the American Cup in March. The event, which returned to its traditional all around format in 2006, was also Nastia's first hit out under the new code of points. She easily qualified through to the all around final where, despite a fall from beam, she won her first American Cup all around title as well as taking first place on uneven bars and floor exercise. A month later Nastia was selected for her first Senior Pacific Alliance Team and travelled to Hawaii to take on the best gymnasts in the Pacific Rim. The US women easily won the team title while Nastia and Chellsie Memmel fought out another intense individual competition eventually becoming joint All Around Champions. Nastia also won a gold medal on the uneven bars and a silver on balance beam. After the competition she was excited to be able to join members of the cast and crew from Stick It at the Los Angeles premiere! In July Nastia travelled to Kansas City for the US Classic. Already qualified to the VISA Championships courtesy of her performance at the 2005 World Championships, she used the competition as an opportunity to test out her upgraded uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise routines. She also unveiled her brand new floor routine choreographed to Dark Eyes. Falls from the uneven bars and floor exercise held her to fourth place all around but she won a gold medal on balance beam earning her first score in excess of 16 points under the new code of points. Less than a month later her she won her fourth consecutive National title, her second as s senior, after holding off a strong challenge from Natasha Kelley (the 2005 Junior National Champion) and an uncharacterisitcally "off" second evening. Her performances in Minnesota included three scores over 16 points earning her the gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam. She was also named USAG Co-Athlete of the Year alongside Chellsie Memmel while Valeri collected the Coach of the Year award. Aarhus An Unexpected Interuption Fresh from her highly succcessful National campaign, Nastia entered the selection process for the World Championship team with confidence. She easily progressed through the first selection camp and returned to the Ranch for the final verification camp ready to cement a place on the team for the Aarhus World Championships. Then disaster - an awkward landing on the tumbletrak resulted in an ankle injury that put her chances of competing at Worlds in severe jepardy. Intensive rehabilitation started immediately and while her participation in the Championships would be restricted to a single event, she was excited to be named on the team and to have the opportunity to contribute as strongly as she could to the US campaign to win the team gold medal. It was a fighting performance from the US women in Aarhus with Chellsie Memmel also suffering an injury in the lead up to the event. Nastia landed her first dismount since the accident during Podium Training. The US women showed their power during the first round of the competition, beating all other teams by more than 2 points. Nastia earned the highest score on any event during the preliminary round to qualify for her second uneven bars final and the team entered the final confident that they would strongly challenge for the gold medal. As has been the case since the introduction of the 6-3-3 team final format, nothing is certain in a major team final. While the US team counted two falls in an uncharacteristically inconsistent day, the team from China were powerful and consistent and in the end snatched the gold medal. Nastia's second World Championships campaign ended when she earned a silver medal in the uneven bars final behind Great Britain's Beth Tweddle. Given the circumstances of the previous fortnight, it was hard to be disappointed to leave the event with two silver medals. From Aarhus Nastia travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to make her second appearance in an FIG Gala celebrating her 17th birthday during her stay. When she returned to Texas, she underwent surgery on her injured ankle. She spent the rest of the year allowing her ankle to heal and preparing for the 2007 season. A Long Road The Journey Back Although her surgery was a success Nastia's return to competition in 2007 proved to take longer than anyone expected. As anticipated she sat out the American Cup, attending the competition as a spectator for the first time in two years. Her recovery, while progressing slowly, was going well with her ankle responding to rehabilitation. Already training skills on beam and bars, she was even hopeful of earning a place on the National team tour to Europe in April. Then, seemingly without reason, as she was beginning to step up her preparation for the important meets of the Summer, her ankle began to swell after every training session. This setback hampered her ability to train as she had wanted, particularly limiting her ability to train anything on the pounding events vault and floor exercise. Reassured by doctors that her ankle surgery had been successful and her ankle was looking strong she persisted and made her return to competition at the Pan American Games, as a bars and beam specialist. The US performed brilliantly to win the gold medal and Nastia debuted her new uneven bars routine including her double front dismount, individually winning two silver medals on uneven bars and balance beam. The race was then on to be ready to compete all around at the VISA Championships just four weeks after the Pan American Games. It was only in July that she seriously began to work back towards competing on vault and floor exercise but she was determined to have a chance to defend her National title and more importantly to show the world that she was still an all around gymnast. By her own admission Nastia entered the championships at about 80% fitness. Although she struggled throughout the competition, particularly on floor and vault, she was overjoyed to just be out competing across four events again and left San Jose with a bronze medal in the all around, her third straight national uneven bars title and a silver medal on the balance beam. She was also named as a member of the World Championship team and vowed that the two weeks between Nationals and the start of competition in Stuttgart would be enough for her to find the extra strength she needed to contend for the all around title at the World Championships. Twice a Champion Back on top in Germany True to her word, the two weeks between Nationals and Worlds proved to be enough time for Nastia to finalise her comeback. She arrived in Stuttgart a more confident athlete with the extra training numbers behind her. She competed exceptionally well in the preliminary round, aiding the US to a dominant team performance and also finishing as the second highest qualifier for the individual all around behind Romania's Steliana Nistor. In addition she earned places to compete in the both the uneven bars and balance beam finals. Nastia and her teammates (Ivana Hong, Shawn Johnson, Samantha Peszek, Alicia Sacramone and Shayla Worley) became only the second team from the United States to win a World Championship Team Gold Medal. They are also the first team from the United States to win the title off home soil. Ultimately this achievement lead to the United States Olympic Committee naming them as Team of the Year 2007. In her individual finals Nastia finished fifth in the all around counting a fall from the balance beam, second on uneven bars and regained her World title on balance beam. With this performance Nastia joined Shannon Miller as America's most decorated gymnast in World Championship competition. Chasing The Dream The Road Continues Buoyed by her success at the 2007 World Championships, Nastia returned home and began making the adjustments to her routines she felt she needed for the Olympic season. After narrowly missing the gold medal on the uneven bars at the two previous World Championships, Nastia and Valeri were determined to come up with a routine that would make her stand out from the crowd. They certainly achieved this goal creating a routine with an A score value of 7.7. More than half a point higher than the routine she had competed in Stuttgart. Nastia admited that she could barely believe it possible until she saw the skills on paper. The changes were not limited to uneven bars. While her father was overseas with another WOGA national team member, Nastia also came up with a new skill to add to her balance beam routine. The skill, a salto forward piked, take off from one leg to one foot landing to scale, held for two seconds has been provisionally been given a D value. Although other gymnasts have competed a similar skill in tucked position, Nastia is hoping that the International Gymnastics Federation will name her variation the 'Liukin' if she successfully competes in World or Olympic competition. Her father Valeri has a number of skills named after him in the Code of Points. Nastia returned to competition in March with a victory at the American Cup ahead of teammate Shawn Johnson. She debuted her new skills and combinations earning career best scores on two events despite having some problems with the main combination of her new bar routine. Soon after she was asked to join the team for the Pacific Rim Championships in San Jose. In her third appearance at this event she led the combined Junior and Senior team to victory and personally won the senior all around and balance beam titles and collected a silver medal on uneven bars. The long Summer of meets began with the VISA Championships in Boston in early June. Nastia entered the event as one of the favorites, determined to put the memories of the previous year behind her. Despite faltering on her open routine of the competition, she competed exceptionally well becoming the first American gymnast to score in excess of 17.00 for a single event (for her uneven bars in both prelims and finals) and broke 64 points for the all around making her the top scorer in the Finals. Over the two days of competition she earned the silver medal in the all around behind Johnson and also won national titles on both uneven bars and balance beam. This performance qualified her to the Olympic Team Trials in Philadelphia in mid-June where Nastia's performance bought about the realisation of her dream, selection on the team for the 2008 Olympic Team. Beyond the Chalk 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 Summer. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in international business or acting. She has already featured in a number of international and national television advertising campaigns and in 2006 had a small speaking role in the smash hit gymnastics themed movie Stick It. 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". Competing at the 2008 Olympic Games has always been her dream and finally the Olympic year has arrived. Nastia is working hard to earn selection on the team, admitting that it would be particularly special to share this experience with her father and coach Valeri, who represented the USSR at the Olympic Games in Seoul exactly 20 years ago. 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 inte