Best Sports Moment - 2009
Nastia Liukin Wins All-Around Gold
In a year in which our four major teams produced only one victorious playoff round, we had to look halfway around the world for goose bumps. Following in the historic footsteps of Allen's Carly Patterson, the bee-boppin' Plano gymnast nailed clean routines in four events on August 15, 2008, to capture the women's all-around gold medal in Beijing. Liukin became one of the faces of the Summer Olympics, her spunk and spontaneity leading to five overall medals. It was the most dominating performance by a U.S. Olympics gymnast since Mary Lou Retton also won five medals in 1984. In the wake of her triumph, Liukin was celebrated as an American hero, appearing on everything from Oprah to Wheaties boxes. More important, her glittering gold night in China cemented Plano's World Olympics Gymnastics Academy as the center of the U.S. tumbling universe.