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Stretching Out: The Adventures of Nastia, Carly & Shawn
(25 votes, average 2.88 out of 5)

Nastia's new love, Carly's comeback and Shawn's bum knee. What a week! IG Editor Dwight Normile takes a look at the three most prominent U.S. gymnasts of past two Summer Olympics.

Evans Almighty

One of the big stories out of Vancouver this week was the blossoming relationship between Nastia Liukin and figure skating champion Evan Lysacek, who met as cast members of the 2008 Disson Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular in Rapid City, S.D. This could get a little confusing for Nastia, whose agent also is named Evan. If things between Nastia and Evan — Lysacek, that is — develop into something really serious, at least her initials won't change.

Skating Pairs

Now that we're pairing off Olympic gymnastics champions with ice skaters, don't you think Shawn Johnson and short track master Apolo Ohno would make a cute couple? They both won Dancing With The Stars and they dueled recently in that Nestle Chocolate-versus-Crispy campaign. Plus, while the 6-foot-2 Lysacek stands 11 inches taller than Liukin, the 5-foot-7 Ohno would be only eight inches above Johnson. So it's settled, then. Shawn, Apolo, you have my blessing.

Shawn's Injury

Speaking of Shawn Johnson, we recently learned that she had surgery to repair tears to the ACL and meniscus in her left knee. She fell while skiing in Colorado in January. Now she's at home recovering from her first major injury, and one that she says has confirmed her love for gymnastics.

Devastated by her injury, Shawn says she went to see her coach, Chow Liang.

"Chow shocked me in his response to the news," she wrote on her website. "He was so comforting, so positive — it was just like old times. He told me things happen for a reason. … He told me to look at it as a blessing. …[With six months of recovery] I have time to reflect, time to myself and time to figure out who I am. The one thing that scared me the most when this happened was that possibly I could not return to gymnastics, even if I wanted to."

Suddenly for Johnson, London 2012 probably feels like it's just around the corner instead of a long way off.

Carly's Comeback

2004 Olympic champion Carly Patterson recently tweeted that she was thinking of making a comeback to gymnastics on vault and beam. Hey, why not? Carly would be 24 at London 2012, 13 years younger than Oksana Chusovitina, who is going for her sixth Olympics. Natalie, Carly's mom, told IG that her daughter's back problems might make a return unsafe.

"I think it is always in the back of your mind when you love a sport," Natalie said. "You can never say never, though."

WOGA Wonders

That would be some workout group at WOGA, should Carly and Nastia start training again. I can hear coach Valeri Liukin now: "Olympic all-around champions go to vault, and everyone else start on beam." Then again, how do you motivate someone who has already won the Olympics?

Note: With the runner-up finish of Rebecca Bross in London last October, WOGA now has three world all-around silver medalists. And if Bross should win gold at London 2012, WOGA, a converted grocery store, would record quite the hat trick.

Comments (3)add comment

Dani said:

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WOGA alrady performed quite the hat trick with two back to back Olympic champs.
 
March 03, 2010
Votes: +0

AngelaR said:

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Dani said:
"WOGA alrady performed quite the hat trick with two back to back Olympic champs. "


Ummm.....a hat trick refers to three. It's a hockey term meaning scoring three goals.
 
March 03, 2010
Votes: +0

anon said:

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why would you assume that Nastia will change her name when married?
 
March 03, 2010
Votes: +0

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