Nastia Liukin stepped up to the podium to train for her uneven bars routine on Thursday in preparation for the Visa Championships, which is the last leg to the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Liukin proved she is worthy of a hard look by the selection committee with her beam routine from the U.S. Secret Classic two weeks ago, but excelling in one event might not be enough to earn a trip to London. This Olympic season, each team is limited to five members, meaning Liukin and other hopefuls will need at least two very strong events to make the grade.
Here is a video of the uneven bars routine that may make or break Liukin’s Olympic future.
Four years ago, Liukin’s star skyrocketed at the Beijing Games. Heading into the competition, she was not considered the media starlet; that job landed in Shawn Johnson’s lap. Liukin was just, well, kind of there as a strong team player. She proved to the armchair jockeys they were not paying close attention by capturing the all-around gold medal.
Liukin has been absent from the competition scene for three years now. Making a comeback in the world of gymnastics after such a lapse is not only risky, it’s downright unheard of in terms of reputation.
In her bid to never say die, Liukin is refining her best two events, balance beam and uneven bars. Make no mistake, she needs both. And as the video linked above illustrates, Liukin may be on the path of a repeat performance as an Olympian.
Stay tuned. We’ll find out more as she takes the floor in St. Louis at the Visa Championships on Friday.