Nastia Liukin is a world champion gymnast. You can see photos, video, and a biography of Nastia here.
**UPDATE 8/14/08 – Congratulations to Nastia Liukin for winning the gold medal in the women’s all-around with a final score of 63.325, ahead of teammate Shawn Johnson, who won the silver with a score of 62.725.
Nastia Liukin won the world balance beam title over the weekend at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, and earlier in the week the U.S. women won the team title. This was the first time the U.S. women won the team title at a World Championships that was held outside of the U.S.
As a biography, Nastia Liukin, (birth name Anastasia Valeryevna Liukina), was born on October 30, 1989 in Moscow, Russia. Her parents are gymnasts as well, father Valeri Liukin, is a 1988 Olympic gold medalist and mother, Anna Kotchneva, was the 1987 World Champion in rhythmic gymnastics. The Liukin family moved to the United States when Nastia was 2 1/2 years old. Nastia’s father, along with another Soviet athlete, Evgeny Marchenko, opened the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA), in Plano, Texas.
Gymnastics is in Nastia’s blood, and began at the age of 3. Her first competition was at the National Championships in 2002 as a junior. She fell on the uneven bar, and she was not able to complete the routine. In 2003, she was the Junior National Champion and won the gold in uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. She would win again the following year. Nastia was part of the gold medal U.S. team at the 2003 Pan Am Games, and placed second in the all around.
Nastia won her first senior National Championship in 2005 and won gold on the uneven bars and the balance beam. Nastia won first place in the all around at the American Cup in March of 2006. Nastia was part of the U.S. team for the 2006 World Gymnastics Championships in Denmark, but she suffered an ankle injury while training and was only able to compete in the uneven bars event.
Due to ankle surgery, Nastia was not able to compete in the 2007 American Cup to defend her all around title.
Nastia recently competed in the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and the U.S. team won first place over the Chinese. In the all around competition, Nastia fell from the balance beam and placed fifth overall, but won the balance beam gold.
She is hoping to follow in her father’s footsteps and compete in the 2008 Olympics.
Check out Nastia’s official website.
Photos and video of Nastia Liukin are below: