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Liukin Nabs Another Title
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2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin was named the 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee's Co-Sportswoman of the Year on Thursday.


Olympic champion Nastia Liukin

Liukin shared the title with Olympic swimming champion Natalie Coughlin. She is the third gymnast to win the honor, following Kim Zmeskal (1991) and Carly Patterson (2004). Swimming superstar Michael Phelps earned the title of 2008 USOC Sportsman of the Year.

Liukin won five medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing — gold in the all-around, silver in the team, uneven bars and balance beam, and bronze on floor exercise.

"The all-around competition was just more than I could have ever imagined, and I enjoyed every minute of it and accomplished my biggest goal in my gymnastics career," Liukin said Thursday.

Liukin plans to return to competition. She's training five to six hours a day and will attend the national team camp next week.

"A lot of people have asked me, 'You won the biggest title that there is to achieve in the sport. Why would you keep going?'" she said. "But for me, I really love competing, and I just really enjoy the sport, so that definitely overpowers the question of putting my title [on the line]. I haven't made a 100 percent commitment, but I'm definitely making a commitment to myself to try to get back in shape and try to compete."

Liukin is tied with Shannon Miller for the most number of world championship medals — nine — won by an American gymnast. Being the Olympic champion should boost her confidence as she aims to win more medals to hold the title alone, she said.

"I think it will definitely give me more confidence going into competitions, knowing that I competed at the Olympic Games, and there is no bigger competition than that," she said. "So hopefully, the world championships will be a little less stressful."

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