Nastia Liukin was born in Moscow but lives in Parker, that Collin County hot spot; moved here when she was little, with her very famous and very decorated parents, both of whom were Soviet champion gymnasts. Fourteen years ago, her father, gold medalist Valeri Liukin, opened the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano; also in Dallas and Frisco, it's turned into a franchise. So, of course, a very local story.
Also a very international one, as the gymnast is on the U.S. Olympic Team headed for Beijing this summer. Which is why she's on the cover of the one and only official Olympics-based video game -- titled, go figure, Beijing ’08. Liukin's at the bottom right of the cover, and she's joined by Amanda Beard, Tyson Gay and Reese Hoffa. All of whom I could best ... at, oh, Lego Star Wars on the PS2, maybe. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.