Monday, January 12, 2009
Nastia Liukin will make appearance at TWU gymnastics meet January 23
This is the second Olympic gold medal gymnast who has appeared at a TWU home meet, after Carley Patterson's appearance in 2006.
Texas Woman's University Gymnastics has struck gold again. Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic All-Around Champion, will be TWU’s guest of honor on Friday, Jan. 23. The special appearance by Liukin will highlight the Pioneers’ 7 p.m. dual meet against the Southeast Missouri State University Riverhawks in Kitty Magee Arena. Liukin will sign autographs for one hour prior to the start of the competition. She will then be introduced during the march-in with the Pioneer gymnasts.
This is the second Olympic gold medal gymnast who has appeared at a TWU home meet. Carley Patterson brought a sell-out crowd to the Denton campus on Jan. 26, 2006.
“It’s an honor to host such an amazing athlete who, along with her fellow U.S. Olympic teammates, kept us glued to our televisions during those late summer nights as we swelled with pride during each competition,” Director of Athletics Chalese Connors said. “Nastia is the best of the best – an Olympic champion – and fans will be in for a treat as we welcome her as our special guest and showcase our own championship gymnastics team.”
Tickets for this meet will go on sale at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, in the main lobby of Pioneer Hall accessible from Bell Avenue. The general admission ticket prices are $7 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens (55+), and free for children five and under. TWU students, faculty and staff are also admitted free with a current TWU I.D. Fans are encouraged to visit twuathletics.com for directions, parking information and campus maps.
Liukin will sign autographs inside the arena beginning at approximately 5:55 p.m. Once fans have their tickets, they will be directed to either line up for the autograph session or take their seats for the meet. Participation in the autograph session is on a first-come, first-served basis, and the session will conclude promptly at 6:55 p.m. Autograph cards for Liukin to sign will be provided but no individual photographs will be allowed.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Liukin performed spectacular routines on all four events (vault, bars, beam, and floor) to join Mary Lou Retton and Patterson as American women to win the gold in the prestigious all-around competition. Liukin’s teammate Shawn Johnson was the runner-up in that competition, marking just the fourth time in the history of the Summer Games that two athletes from the same country took first and second place in the women’s all-around.
In the event finals at the Olympics, Liukin earned a bronze medal on floor exercise and silver medals on uneven bars and balance beam. On uneven bars, Liukin and China's He Kexin both posted final marks of 16.725, and earned identical A- and B-panel scores of 7.70 and 9.025, respectively. However, He Kexin won the gold medal, and Liukin was awarded the silver after a tie-breaking calculation that took into account individual marks given by judges on the B-panel. With her five Beijing medals (one more coming in the team competition), Liukin tied Retton and Shannon Miller for the most gymnastics medals won by an American in a single Olympic Games.
Liukin will not have to travel far to Denton as she resides in nearby Parker and trains at the WOGA Gymnastics in Frisco. She recently resumed full-time training and her next competition will be the 2009 VISA Championships held Aug. 12-15 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Liukin is also enrolled at Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she studies international business.
Information regarding sponsorship opportunities for this event is available calling the TWU Athletics office at 940-898-2378.
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