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Thursday, November 21, 2013
W Wants to Know: Nastia Liukin

By espnW

Liukin/Nyad
Nastia Liukin attends NYU and is busy working for several causes, including this fundraiser with Diana Nyad for Hurricane Sandy relief.

Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic medalist in gymnastics, hung up her grips for good this past year and headed to New York City. She shared a little about her new life by answering the five questions of “W Wants to Know.”

What do you need to consider your day complete? Coffee in the morning and a good workout at some point in the day. Now that I’m living in New York, I love SoulCycle or Bar Method classes. If I don’t have too much time, I like to go for a quick run along the Hudson River.

What's one thing you will never do? Swim with sharks. When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist. That quickly changed when I realized you don’t get to just swim with dolphins all day. I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about sharks possibly being in the water every time I get into the ocean.

What song best describes your life? "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. In the last year of my life I retired from gymnastics -- which is basically what I've known my whole life. Then I picked up and moved to a brand-new city, entered college at NYU and started a new life. It took a lot of bravery and courage to go completely outside my comfort zone into a little bit of the unknown.

What is the one thing you really want to do now that you’ve retired from the sport? I would love to continue to inspire our youth both inside and outside the gym. Expanding the Nastia Liukin Fund is a huge priority for me right now. The fund helps support gymnastics clubs that are giving financial assistance to athletes in the sport, and partners with fitness-oriented programs for young people.

What is your biggest weakness? Not living life one day at a time. I tend to want to plan ahead too much -- where I will live after I finish school here in New York, or what I will be doing in five years. I’m a sports management major, and honestly, I have no idea yet what I plan to do with it. I just wanted to learn more of the business aspect of sports. I've always been on the other side of it, so now I will have a much broader picture and understanding of the whole field. I try not to think too much ahead. I love where I am in life right now. Moving to NYC and starting school at NYU has been my newest adventure. I’m making new friends and creating so many new memories and experiences.