Nastia Liukin gives insight into Olympic Games

9:04 AM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - Olympic champion Nastia Liukin is going to Sochi.

No, she won't be competing, but she will be giving expert commentary to the Games.

Russian-born Liukin will be making her first visit to Sochi like many of the competing athletes.

"I'm going to be giving everybody an inside perspective of being at the Olympic Games," Liukin said.

Liukin loves the spirit of the Olympics and the unity it provides.

"No matter what is going on in everybody's countries, everybody unites. Everybody has something in common and everybody is there for that one reason, to represent their country at the Olympic Games."

Knowing the pressures of the biggest international competition, Liukin gave 9NEWS her insights into the mind of a champion, and the felling many of the now Olympians might be feeling.

"The preparation is there. It's all in the head. It really is a mental game."

"It's an exciting time for everybody competing, but it's also a little bit of a nerve wracking time."

Liukin also gave us some of the U.S. names to watch for.

"Figure skating is one of my favorite sports to watch so Gracie Gold just won the National Championships a few weeks ago. Perfect name for the Olympic Games."

"Ashley Wagner, her teammate, is also another one to watch."

With pressures of the competition looming, Liukin always knows to cherish the moment.

"The Olympics it's only every four years and for many people it's a once in a lifetime opportunity."

But, when that moment comes when an athlete looks up to see their flag rising and their national anthem played.

"Remembering all of the obstacles you had to overcome, the injuries and everything. The sacrifices you have to make. It's all just worth it in the end and that moment is when you realize it."

The Olympics begin Thursday on 9NEWS.

Editor's Note

Though she was born in Russia, Liukin needed to polish up her language skills before starting her reporting gig with NBC. She said she used the online language learning solution Rosetta Stone as part of her preparation. The company made our interview with Liukin possible.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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