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Family First for Liukin
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Continuing IG Online's series of holiday features, 2005 world all-around silver medalist Nastia Liukin (USA) told IG that her holiday plans include spending quality time with her grandfather visiting from Russia.
Nastia Liukin

"I will stay home for the holidays and spend time with my family," said Liukin, who was born in Moscow and now resides in Texas. "My aunt and uncle, as well as my grandpa, who just flew in from Russia last weekend, will come over on Christmas Eve for dinner."

Liukin, the 2005 world champion on uneven bars and balance beam, is recovering from ankle surgery. At the 2006 World Championships, held in Denmark in October, the injury limited her to competing on uneven bars only. Liukin placed second on the event, and second with the U.S. in the team competition.

Liukin is the daughter of 1988 Olympic triple gold medalist Valery Liukin and former rhythmic gymnast Anna Kochneva Liukin, who tied for the gold medal with clubs at the 1987 World Championships. Valery coaches Liukin at the WOGA club in Plano, Texas.

Liukin explained that her parents' birthdays play important roles in the family Christmas celebration.

Nastia and Valery Liukin

"We always get our Christmas tree on my dad's birthday (Dec. 17) and keep it up until my mom's birthday (Jan. 25)," Liukin said.

The 17-year-old Liukin said her Russian heritage also plays a factor. "In Russia, New Year's Eve is a bigger holiday than Christmas is," she said. "It is a tradition to spend New Year's Eve with your family. But we celebrate Christmas as well."

Liukin has firm plans for the new year.

"My resolution for 2007 is to get my ankle healthy and get back into the competition season!" she said.

Nastia Liukin is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:

December 2006: World Championships special issue
October 2006: U.S. Championships coverage
June 2006: Pacific Alliance Championships coverage
May 2006: American Cup photo gallery
April 2006: American Cup coverage
January/February 2006: cover photo, 2005 World Championships special issue
October 2005: cover photo, center poster, U.S. Championships coverage
June/July 2005: Valery Liukin Hall of Fame induction feature
April 2005: cover photo, American Cup coverage
August/September 2005: U.S. Championships coverage
June/July 2004: Pacific Alliance Championships coverage
August/September 2003: U.S. Championships coverage
June/July 2003: cover photo
November 2002: "An Unstoppable Force" (profile)

To order back issues of IG magazine, click here.

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