Nastia Liukin won.
Holy crap - Nastia won!
I've been watching Nastia since 2002 when she was this itty bitty junior who had this precious soviet pedigree, was all legs and forehead, lovely lines and all the potential in the world. But how many times does potential pan out? I just never thought there was any way that this girl who appeared to have it all going for her would actually do it. I always think you need some adversity in your life to give you that extra boost to really achieve great things and it didn't seem that Nastia would have that kind of challenge in her life.
But then 2006 came and she hurt her ankle - and everyone was saying there was no way, no way she could do it. The reign of Nastia was over, make room for the Shawn Johnson. Nastia's old, Nastia's washed up, Nastia's over. She was only 16. It was really difficult to watch - and easy to believe. But to see how she came back from that and fought her way back to the top, even when she was unable to defeat Shawn in 2007, she kept creeping up and getting better and better. Her bar routine is impossible - it was one of the most difficult routines in the world before and she went and made it harder - and better. Her beam routine is gorgeous. Vault, ok, whatever. But what she does, she does perfectly. She does a double front on floor. Nastia Liukin shouldn't be able to do a double front on floor!
I admire her so much for never giving up belief in herself. For always striving not just to be good, but to be great. Man - it's such a cliche in sport, but she actually does it! She strives to be great. What a huge thing to wake up in the morning and go to the gym and know that you're training for greatness. No pressure.
That was probably my most favorite all-around competition ever. I just can't believe that she got her story-book ending! It's incredible. In 2004 she did a commercial for Adidas where she did a bars routine along Nadia's 1976 bars routine. It was the beginning of the 'Impossible is Nothing' campaign. I just am shocked beyond belief that her Olympic dream played out this way.
I love the Olympics.