Nastia Liukin

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    anthem plays, the flag rises and the champion on the podium is wearing gold. Not just any gold though. Olympic gold, the kid of golden award that makes the one wearing it as the best in the world at that chosen sport. The kind of gold that inspires the next generation. Olympic Champions do not fall on that podium by luck though. As Nastia Liukin 2008 Olympic all-around women 's gymnastic champion proved, many champions start from nothing and work hard to earn the gold. Of course, Nastia Liukin was not a United States Women 's Gymnastic team member from the start. As a matter of fact, she was born not even a United States citizen. She was born Anastasia Valeryevna Liukin on October 30, 1989 in Moscow, Russia when it was still apart…

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    Shawn Johnson Gymnast

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    at the senior elite level. Johnson continued to improve and complete bigger, more difficult skills. Her first competition as a senior elite athlete was the 2007 Tyson American Cup, which she won gold in the all-around. Johnson then went on to compete at the Pan American Games and the Visa U.S. National Championships, winning gold in the all-around, and finishing more than five points ahead of second place Nastia Liukin (two time national champion). At this point in her career, more and more…

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