Artistic Gymnastics

Nastia Liukin on the "little moments" that made her 2008 triumph special

The Olympic all-around champion jumped in our 'Time Machine' for a trip back to Beijing

By Scott Bregman ·

Olympic Channel took a trip back to Beijing 2008 in the second episode of our original series ‘Time Machine'.

The episode sees Olympic artistic gymnastics gold medallist Nastia Liukin and 2019 world vault bronze medallist Ellie Downie of Great Britain look back at the all-around final.

"At the end of the day, you’re left with your family and your loved ones and I think especially in a year like 2020, we’ve all kind of realized that,” said Liukin.

"It’s obviously so fun reminiscing back on the results, but it’s the small things like the embrace with my dad [coach Valeri Liukin], high fiving Shawn [Johnson] right before she went… it’s the little moments that have made those experiences everything for me."

So, hop in our time machine and see all the little things that added up to Olympic gold for Liukin those 12 years ago.

Uchimura, Murakami look chances to reset at All-Japan Championships

Double Olympic all-around gold medallist Uchimura Kohei and 2018 World all-around silver medallist Murakami Mai are each hoping for a reset heading into 2021 at this week’s All-Japan Championships.

For Uchimura, it will be his third competitive outing since announcing he will focus on the horizontal bar only for Tokyo 2020.

"I haven’t been too pleased with how I did in the first two competitions this season. It’s about time I performed the way I know I can,” said Uchimura earlier this week.

And that's exactly what he did during Friday's preliminary rounding, wow-ing with a massive 15.533 to finish on top of the event standings.

Murakami, for her part, leads the standings after the first day of competition, but mistakes on floor and vault (where she debuted a Rudi) left her frustrated.

"I was really fired up yesterday so I let myself down today," Murakami said in a press conference afterward. "I was nervous. My heart is still pounding. I wasn’t making mistakes in practice.”

Uchimura Kohei relieved: Pain-free at last

Three-time gold medallist and two-time Olympic men's all-around gymnastics ...

Brazilians Jade Barbosa, Daniele Hypolito back in action

Five-time Olympian Daniele Hypolito and two-time Olympian Jade Barbosa were back in action last weekend, 5 December, during an internal competition at their home training base Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The internal competition was live streamed on the center’s YouTube channel.

For both, it was a return to competition after injury. A calf injury kept Hypolito, 36, out of the 2018 World Championships in Doha. She has yet to return to official competition. Barbosa suffered an ACL injury during qualifications of the 2019 World Championships, forcing her team to compete a woman down on the remaining three events. Subsequently, Brazil shockingly failed to qualify to the Tokyo Games.

Stars Flavia Saraiva, who qualified as an individual to Tokyo 2020, and Rebeca Andrade skipped the event, having tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

What else?

In case you missed it, we posted more of our exclusive interview with Olympic parallel bars champion Oleg Verniaiev.

The 2019 world all-around bronze medallist is missing out of this week’s European Championships, but sees a bright future in the talented Ukrainian men coming up the ranks.

And he's already being proven right as Ukraine won the junior men’s title on Wednesday at the Europeans in Mersin, Turkey.

Friday is the junior men’s all-around final with the senior team medals set to be decided on Saturday. Competition wraps up on Saturday with the junior and senior apparatus finals.

"I really want this work to lead to medals" - Verniaiev on Tokyo team goals

Oleg Verniaiev already has Olympic and World championship titles to his nam...

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles spoke at the Forbes Power Women Summit Wednesday, sharing her perspective on using her platform and the legacy she hopes to leave behind in the sport.

“I hope that anybody who ever signs up for gymnastics truly feels comfortable with entering their kids in the sport, and they are certain what happened to some of us athletes will never happen again,” said Biles. “That's the hope that I leave [in the sport] and that the kids will find the joy that I've had. I've loved doing it for years.”

Biles floored by attention from other superstars: "It just blows my mind"

Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles does not get nervous easily but goi...

From the vault…

This week, we’re responding to a request from @lari4tokyo on Twitter who wanted to see Alexandra Eremia's floor exercise from qualifications at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

As a bonus, here’s the entire Romanian team’s rotation including Catalina Ponor's 9.687 effort.

Ponor had the high score during qualifications and went on to win team, balance beam and floor exercise gold at those Games.

Team Romania on floor in qualifying at Athens 2004

Watch the Romanian team's complete floor exercise rotation from the qualify...