Nastia Liukin, five-time gold medalist, stopped by Eagles Gymnastics in Martin City. Here she poses with staff, including owner Kim Fuchs seated far right. Photo Eagles Gymnastics.

U.S. Gold Medalist Inspires Young Gymnasts at Eagles Gymnastics

By:  Christina McDonough-Hunt

Five-time Olympic Medalist, Nastia Liukin stopped by Eagles Gymnastics in Martin City on Monday, April 15th, and offered words of inspiration for the young gymnasts in attendance.  

“Winning isn’t the most important thing in life,” she addressed the crowd.  “I learned that when I tried to make my second Olympics team. I remember falling flat on my face. I knew it was over for me. I felt so embarrassed.  But my parents raised me to finish what I started, so I got back up and finished. That was the first time I got a standing ovation after an event. I learned people will love you even in your worst moment.”

Liukin posed with aspiring gymnasts and signed autographs. Photo by Christina McDonough-Hunt

Liukin is visiting Kansas City to help spread the word about the USA Gymnastics Championships being held at the Sprint Center later this year.  She hopes to promote and inspire young gymnasts to support the event and to chase after their dreams.

“I’m excited to be able to meet so many boys and girls that share the same passion for gymnastics as I do,” said Liukin.  “I don’t do gymnastics anymore, but I hope to help [young gymnasts] by sharing my knowledge and things I’ve learned about the sport. I hope that carries on to the next generation.”

“It’s very important to have a role model like [Liukin], she was so articulate with the girls and answered their questions,” said Kimberly Fuchs, owner of Eagles Gymnastics.  “To have Nastia here in Kansas City….has just been a blessing for these girls.”

USA Gymnastics is rewarding gymnastics clubs for supporting and being involved with the championships by hosting events like this here in Kansas City.  Eagles Gymnastics was one of three gyms that was chosen to receive a visit from Liukin. They were chosen based on the number of tickets they sold for the championships.

Liukin signed the “Blue Block” at Eagles Gymnastics. The block has also been signed by
2016 Olympic medalists Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez . Photo Eagles Gymnastics.

“Our club sold a lot of tickets and we were lucky enough to get her here,” said Fuchs.  “We were top two in Kansas City. We were able to get super tickets and the kids and their parents just bought them up.”  

The USA Gymnastics Championships will be held at the Sprint Center August 8-11.  Gymnasts from all over the United States will compete for the national title.

“We’re so excited to have the USA Gymnastics Championships here in Kansas City,” said Fuchs.  “This is a fabulous event. Missouri supports gymnastics so well. It’s just a great, great event for all of our girls.”

Liukin was a member of the USA Gymnastics team in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.  She has amassed over 30 medals in her career, five of which were earned in the Olympic games.  Currently, she travels around the country with USA Gymnastics promoting the sport while speaking to young gymnasts.  In August, she will be working for NBC as a commentator for the USA Gymnastics Championships.

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