Olympic Gymnast Nastia Liukin Visits Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports
Reigning Olympic gold medal winner Nastia Liukin of the United States works with young gymnasts during the ESPN RISE Girls Showcase at Walt Disney World.
ESPN RISE Girls Showcase is taking place from June 2-22 at the complex, brings together nearly 15,000 female athletes from the sports of basketball, gymnastics, softball, taekwondo, and volleyball, making it one of the largest gatherings of young, elite female athletes in the country.
Nastia Liukin, who won a gold medal in the women’s all-around gymnastics competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, provided guidance to four young gymnasts from Central Florida at the festival on Friday.
One of the gymnasts, Clermont’s Olessia Dunaeva, said about Liukin’s visit:
“When I found out I was going to work with her I was so excited, because she’s my idol. It’s always a dream to work with someone you look up to in the same sport.”
Liukin, who trains in Plano, TX, also interacts with the USA Basketball Women’s under-19 team, including fellow Dallas-area hoops star Alexis Jones (Irving, TX), at the sports complex at Disney and gives her thoughts on the Dallas Mavericks-Miami Heat NBA Finals matchup.
Liukin also discussed her excitement over the Dallas Maverick’s postseason run and her feelings about the 2012 Olympics in London. About the 2012 Olympics, Liukin says that she hasn’t “fully committed or decided yet,” but she expressed that she is still just as passionate about and dedicated to gymnastics as ever and expects to make a decision by the end of the year.