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I Have Cool Friends

Nov 14, 2018

Sam welcomes to the podcast close friend and former 2008 Olympic and 2007 World Championship teammate, Nastia Liukin. Nastia’s gymnastics accomplishments include the 2008 Olympic all-around champion, five-time Olympic medalist, the 2005 and 2007 world champion on the balance beam, and the 2005 world champion on uneven bars. She is also a four-time, all-around U.S. national champion, winning twice as a junior and twice as a senior. Since retiring from gymnastics, Nastia has continued to support and promote the sport of gymnastics as an analyst, advocate, and entrepreneur. She was part of the effort that saw Los Angeles awarded the 2028 Olympic Games and is currently involved in projects aimed to inspire the next generation of females.

In this episode, Sam and Nastia recall early memories of their friendship at the Pan Am, World Championship and Olympic Games. Nastia opens up on what it was like growing up in the spotlight as the daughter of two famed Russian gymnasts. Sam and Nastia talk about the current uncertainty surrounding USA Gymnastics and the characteristics they would like to see in the new CEO and governing body. Among these characteristics are transparency, communication and effective leadership. They also suggest actions that former USA gymnasts can take to help the sport recover from the recent scandals it has suffered. Finally, Nastia stresses the importance of educating and training young gymnasts not only in their sport, but also in life skills that will serve them well long after retirement.  

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