Gymnastics is a funny sport. On TV, it looks so glamorous – pink leotards, glittery makeup and cute hair ribbons. But here’s the ugly truth: a day in the life of a gymnast is anything but glamorous. This is a sport where tossing and twisting your body in totally inhuman ways is the main goal. The other goal is to make these tricks look effortless, as if you could perform them in your sleep. Oh, and you’re supposed to look pretty while you’re doing all this – no big deal, right? To make it in gymnastics, you’ll need the strength of a weightlifter, the grace of a ballerina, the flexibility of Stretch Armstrong and the mental toughness of a brain surgeon. It takes a lifetime of dedication, and not many people can handle it. Nastia Liukin is one of the rare few.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nastia became one of only three Americans in gymnastics history to win the coveted All-Around Gold Medal, despite the Chinese team’s home crowd advantage and obvious cheating. Now, I happen to be a lifelong gymnast and undeniable expert on the sport, so take it from me – this girl is the real deal! Here’s one of her golden routines from Beijing:
To add even more drama to this great Olympic story, Nastia just barely beat out her friend and teammate Shawn Johnson for the gold, making these two extraordinary gymnasts the very first American gold-silver duo in the Olympic All-Around competition.
Nastia’s got a total of fourteen Olympic and World Championship medals. She’s got the trademark Wheaties box. She’s sponsored by tons of great brands like Cover Girl, Secret, AT&T and Visa. She has fabulous hair. She even launched her own clothing line and started a new career in modeling!
Check out these incredible photos from her shoot with Max Azria – this girl is gorgeous. Look at that hair!
I’ve always been a huge fan of Nastia because she’s proven that gymnasts can be tough, powerful and beautiful all at once. Lots of other gymnasts appear on national TV with frizzy locks, no makeup and random clips all over their head to hold their disastrous ‘do in place. Not Nastia, though – she always looks pretty and polished, whether she’s triple-twisting through the air at the Olympics or walking the runway at Fashion Week. Let’s check out some of Nastia’s recent hairstyle choices:
Nastia is a natural beauty – she looks great in any hairstyle. Her bangs are a nice change from the slicked-back competition ‘do, but I think the pulled-back look really shows off her gorgeous features. It’s hard for Nastia to look bad, but I’d love to see her be as daring with her hairdos as she is with her gymnastics. Maybe a radical color change is in order! I think she’d look great with a dark red hue. Any thoughts?