The Untold Truth Of Former Olympic Gymnast Nastia Liukin

It's hard to believe it's been over 10 years since Nastia Liukin captured the all-around Gold medal in gymnastics in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Liukin, who was known for her grace and flexibility on the apparatuses, narrowly beat out teammate and friend, Shawn Johnson East, at the games in the all-around competition. Liukin also bagged herself three silver medals in the team event, uneven bars, and balance beam, but had a less stellar result on floor exercise, coming in third.

Born Anastasia Valeryevna Liukina, the 31-year-old is one of the more recognizable names in gymnastics because of her appearance and charisma on camera. Since winning big at the Olympic Games, Liukin has made quite a name for herself in the gymnastics world by creating her own competition, designing leotards, appearing on various reality television shows, and taking on broadcasting duties at big gymnastics competitions. Here is the untold truth of this stylish and nimble athlete.

Nastia Liukin has her own gymnastics competition

A year after winning at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, Nastia Liukin, along with USA Gymnastics, announced a partnership to create the "Nastia Liukin Cup" — a competition that features America's top Junior Olympic gymnasts. Gymnasts who have competed at the "Nastia Liukin Cup" include Gabby Douglas, who won Olympic Golds at the 2012 London Games and in Rio in 2016.

"Creating a gymnastics competition for the next generation of young gymnasts was incredibly important to me, but even more important was my drive to give back to the gymnastics community—a community that I am forever indebted to and grateful for," said Liukin in a Facebook post. "And so, the Nastia Liukin Fund was established. There have been 11 Nastia Liukin Cups, and ALL net proceeds from each Cup have gone back to the Nastia Liukin Fund."

The pandemic lockdowns halted training for many gyms in Dallas, Texas, where Liukin grew up and trained. However, she gave back to her community and helped gyms financially struggling to get through the pandemic by donating $100,000 in the form of 10 equal grants, according to Team USA.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Liukin would give back to her gymnastics community; She's been involved with the sports since she was three years old. Her father, who was also her coach, actually owns a gym called "World Olympic Gymnastics Academy" in Texas. The sport is also where Liukin has made some of her longest friendships. 

Nastia Liukin was in a feud with Shawn Johnson East for eight years

For Olympic athletes, it can be hard to maintain friendships outside work commitments—something Nastia Liukin knows a lot about. In fact, she admitted to being in a feud with her now-BFF and former teammate, Shawn Johnson East, for several years. "Right after the Olympics, we kind of had like a falling out, but it wasn't like anything between us," East said in a YouTube sit down from Liukin's Grander Summit in Boston in July 2018.

Their friendship was so non-existent that Liukin didn't even have each other's phone number or follow each other on social media. However, it was East who took the first step and reached out while she waited for her flight in Dallas, near Liukin's hometown of Plano, Texas. "If you don't respond, I totally get it," East wrote in the email. "Just know that I love you. I miss my best friend. I support you in everything you do."

Turns out, the feeling was mutual. Liukin replied within 30 seconds of receiving the email. "Sports is just such a small part of your life, yet a big part of your life," Liukin said. "It brought us together. It drove us apart. It brought us back together." The email did not only bring Liukin and East back together, but Liukin also attended East's wedding.

Nastia Liukin had a broken engagement

Although Nastia Liukin was happy for Shawn Johnson East finding the love of her life, she hasn't had a lot of luck in the love department. Liukin was formerly rumored to be in a relationship with Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek, in 2010. She later said they were "just close friends," per People.

In June 2015, Liukin announced Matt Lombardi, her boyfriend at the time, had proposed to her. However, three years after their engagement, Liukin called it quits in 2018 after postponing their wedding the year prior. "They have mutually and amicably ended their relationship," a rep for Liukin confirmed to People in 2018, and revealed that they split in the summer of that year. Later, Liukin dated football star, Sam Martin, briefly in 2019 (pictured above) before splitting in 2020.

Despite not having the best luck in romantic relationships, Liukin does not seem to be too bothered by being single. She has become an influencer in her own right and has recently launched a YouTube channel to give fans an inside look into her life. We're sure she will continue to shine a spotlight on gymnastics in all her future endeavors.