Women's gymnastics really seems like a sport for girls. While there were some older competitors, like Alicia Sacramone of the US and China's Cheng Fei who are both 20, it seems a sport loaded with youngsters. So what happens to these women, or girls, after competing at the top? All-around gold medal winner Nastia Liukin and her teammate Shawn Johnson are definitely approaching their futures differently. These girls roomed together at the Olympics and wanted to go gold and silver in as many events as they could, but let me tell you about their next moves.
The 18-year-old Nastia Liukin will be heading home to Texas Thursday with her five medals, one gold, one bronze, and three silvers. She has many ad campaigns in the works, including one for Visa, and you can expect to see her on the Jay Leno show sometime next week. Daughter of Olympian gymnasts, Liukin plans on competing in the 2009 world championships.
To see what Shawn's future holds,
For the near future, Shawn plans on shopping and visiting the Great Wall as well as walking in the closing ceremony. After training with the hopes of a gold medal in the all-around competition, this 16-year-old from Iowa will probably take off her first semester of her junior year of high school to participate in a planned gymnastics tour. She told reporters:
It's hard to think about four more years. After not winning the all-around, it hit me pretty hard, not that I got the silver, but just all my emotions came out. I was training to win gold. I'm just proud of myself that I kept my head up.
Having been riveted to my TV for the last week watching these amazing young ladies tumble, twist, and vault, I will miss them. How about you?