Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin returned from the Beijing Olympics with several medals to her name. But nothing could have prepared her for the whirlwind of attention that greeted her homecoming.
Based on her success in China, Nastia will be featured on an upcoming Wheaties Box, has a cameo on Gossip Girl and is the new face of Vanilla Star Jeans. So how does she feel about her newfound fame?
"It has all been more than a dream come true," Nastia says. "I would never have thought that I would be able to do the things I’m doing. I’ve been travelling so much. Out of the three weeks that I’ve been back I’ve probably been home for only about three days. But I’m definitely having the time of my life!"
Of all her new ventures, Nastia is probably most excited about her appearance on Gossip Girl – primarily because she’s a huge fan of the show.
"I’ve always liked that show and I read all of the books before it became a show," she says. "Right after the Olympics I went to L.A. and I had dinner with a bunch of my friends and there happened to be the producers of Gossip Girl! They passed over a note and they were like,’Congratulations!’ The next day they called my agent and wanted to meet with us and said they would love for me to guest star."
Sounds like a dream come true! But it doesn’t stop there. Nastia did stints on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’brien and The View and will appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. As the face of Vanilla Star, Nastia says she’s now able to work on a signature line – something she says has been really fun.
"It’s so much fun to be part of it and I have a pretty big say in what I like and what I want it to be," she says.
Nastia continues, "It is really weird to know that I started gymnastics at such a young age because I loved it and I had fun doing it. I never thought that it would bring me to where I am today."