Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson go 1-2 in Women's All Around Gymnastics

For Gymnasts the All-around event is like claiming your MVP of gymnastics..and thats exactly what Nastia Liukin is. She started off slowly with the Vault (lower start value) although she stuck the landing. In fact, Nastia stuck every single one of her landings in the all around event. However in the remaining three events including floor and uneven bars she was unmatched in her form and artistic creativity. Being the gymnastic prodigy of two world champion gymnasts (her father won 2 gold medal, but fell short of the All around gold medal in 1988), Nastia and her father embraced after every event. In a way he was reliving his dream through her.

Nastia's parents never wanted her to become a gymnast like them - they knew how grueling and painful it would be. However, they ended up taking her to the gym while they worked out. She started watching the other gymnasts, mimicking their moves, and starting her future. She has intense workout regiments (about 6 - 7 hours a day), but she also has school and homework.

Shawn Johnson had a solid performance as well...but had a recurring problem that cost her first place - her landing. She was never able to stick a perfect landing and had this one crossover step that cost her greatly in the vault (her best event). Otherwise, she had a solid performance and just fell short of Nastia. Great job to both of them for making was fun to watch. I can't wait till London to see them compete again. Shawn will be 20 and Nastia will be 22.