Nastia Liukin is accustomed to getting attention. She commands celebrity prestige, including a major Junior Olympic event held in her name annually. As the reigning Olympic all-around champion from the 2008 Games, her name is synonymous with the sport and the dedication it takes to rise to elite status.
Perhaps that is what draws Taylor Kaprive, 22, from West Palm Beach, Florida, to this attractive and talented athlete, going so far as to create a YouTube video asking Liukin to “...Call me, maybe.”
Apparently, Liukin captured Kaprive’s heart in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, and he has diligently followed her career since. His admiration is common knowledge to his friends, who tease him regularly. But no matter—it’s all in good fun.
Discussing Liukin’s failure to gain an Olympic berth at the 2012 U.S. Trials, Kaprive described to Bleacher Report his personal understanding of what it must take to be a superior athlete:
When she fell and got back up to finish her routine the other night, I had a lot of respect for the way that she persevered and finished strong. Playing baseball, I know how hard it is to deal with failure because if I fail seven out of 10 times, I am hitting well. I can’t imagine the mental toughness that it takes to compete at her level.
Soon after Trials, Kaprive’s baseball buddy, Collin Radack, 20, from Austin, Texas, suggested the part-time coffee house musician put together a song in Liukin’s honor. So Kaprive did a lyric change with an acoustic mash-up of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me.” What the tune lacks in originality, it more than makes up for it with the “Awww” factor.
It was then that Collin suggested they take the song one step further and record it for YouTube in hopes Liukin would see it and be compelled to comply with the title’s request. Together with another baseball teammate, Blake McKnight, 21, of St. Louis, Missouri, the trio put together the clip and uploaded it in early July:
The video is something that we put together to have fun. Maybe something that will help put a smile on her face, and if I’m lucky, call me maybe. Initially I thought there was no way I could get her to see it and respond. But it’s starting to get some more views, and if it goes viral, who knows what could happen.
Who knows indeed? When asked if he has heard from the petite blonde, Kaprive replied, “No, but a guy can always hope!”
So, Nastia, if you are reading this, you may want to consider Taylor’s request. Call him....maybe.