Just back from a week of furlough, regretting that I didn’t have the means to write about this earlier.
Nastia Luikin, the 2008 Olympic all-around and four-time World champion, put on a clinic Sunday at Legacy Gymnastics in Lexington. Liukin signed autographs, posed for pictures with gymnasts and delivered motivational talks. Parents and spectators were allowed to watch.
Leah Little, a part-time Legacy coach and the former University of Kentucky coach, has brought several Olympians to Lexington over the years, including Amanda Borden, Kim Zmeskal and Svetlana Boginskaya. Legacy invited Liukin, and Little filled me in on what happened by providing the information and photos that follow.
Aspiring young athletes of all ages were able to receive hands-on coaching from the Olympic champion.
“It was fun and she signed my leotard,” said Macy Baker, a gymnast from Legacy. “The best part was that I got to work with her on the beam.”
The five-time Olympic medalist was here to promote and encourage youngsters in the sport of gymnastics as well as provide a demonstration of skills. When asked why she takes time out of her busy schedule to do these clinics, Nastia replied: “I have a lot of fun working with kids, it is important to me and I have a passion for the sport. It is my life!”
Said Linice Kiser, co-owner of Legacy: “‘Anytime we can bring in an athlete of this caliber to encourage not only our athletes but all the young gymnasts in the state of Kentucky, it is a privelege.”