Nastia Liukin Misses Olympic Bid After Fall
Nastia Liukin's bid for a repeat performance at the Olympics ended last night after falling face-first from the uneven bars at the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials in San Jose. Call it a fall from grace. A faceplant failure. Whatever way you spin it, it hurts. But Liukin, the 2008 all-around gold medalist at Beijing, handled the situation with grace and grit.
After taking three years off from competitive gymnastics and a rotator cuff injurty, Liukin attempted to stage a comeback. The 22 year-old spent the last nine months gunning for one of the five spots on the US gymnastics team, but faced stiff competition from a younger crop of talented women who have dominated the field for the past few years. (This year, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross will all much-deservedly be representing the U.S.)
Even after falling from the uneven bars, Liukin got back up and completed her routine. She was rewarded with a standing ovation, and later tweeted her gratitude: "Thank you to the 18,000 people that gave me a standing ovation tonight. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life."
While this marks the end of Liukin's professional career as a gymnast—she's planning on attending NYU in January—we'll always remember Nastia for her class and athleticism.
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