“I know what achieving my goal feels like. I know what it smells like and tastes like. I know what achieving my goal looks like and sounds like. I envision my life with my goal attained.” (hear it)
The last few days the world has seemed more like the 1980s than 2008. The United States and Russia are at odds and irresponsible threats are flying left and right. Hardline leaders in both countries seem to have forgotten the common interest they have – all of humanity has – in their getting along.
Against this backdrop, how much more symbolic of the change we need in our world could Nastia Liukin be? America’s newest female gymnastics gold medalist was born in Moscow and now resides in Parker, Texas. She is a daughter of the Russian motherland and a now proudly represents Team USA.
Her father was an Olympic men’s all-around silver medalist for the former Soviet Union at the Seoul Games in 1988. The Liukin family moved to The United States when Nastia was just two years old.
Liukin joins Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as America’s only female all-around gymnastics champions. Battling fellow-American Shawn Johnson and Yang Yilin of China all night, Liukin was the most consistent in the end.
She solidified her top spot with an amazing routine on balance beam and then closed the deal with a pressure-packed and nearly flawless performance on floor exercise.
Nastia Liukin took gold in an event that everyone will remember forever. She was poised and dignified in victory. More than that she represents the hopes and dreams of two great nations. These nations should take her lead and pursue their greatness in healthy competiton rather than blustery conflict.
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