Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough have shown that they could be serious contenders for the mirror-ball trophy on this Dancing With the Stars 2015 spring season. Derek surprised everybody with a return this season, after saying he would be taking a season off to do a show in New York City. Now he’s paired with Nastia and DWTS fans are anxious to know more about her. What’s the scoop?
As ABC notes, Nastia Liukin is an Olympic champion gymnast. She won the all-around gold medal in 2008 at the Bejing Olympics. Nastia has also been the United States National Champion four times and she has nine World Championship medals. This makes her one of the top U.S. gymnasts in terms of medals earned.
The DWTS star, whose full name is Anastasia, was born in Moscow, Russia and she’s now 25-years-old. As Lukin’s website shares, her parents are both champion gymnasts as well. Dad Valeri Liukin won the gold medal in 1988 while mom Anna Kotchneva was a world champion rhythmic gymnast. The family moved to the U.S. when Nastia was a toddler.
Though the family first moved to New Orleans upon moving to the U.S., they eventually settled in Texas. Nastia graduated from high school in Plano and she spent some time after high school studying at Southern Methodist University.
Liukin now is based in New York, having retired from gymnastics. She is studying sports management at New York University and she is currently a junior. Nastia has done quite a bit of work in the entertainment industry, having appeared on several specials and talk shows along with briefly in the movie Stick It and on the shows Gossip Girl and Hellcats. The DWTS star has also worked with NBC as an analyst of gymnastics events.
What about Nastia’s love life? She was linked to ice skater Evan Lysacek back in 2010, but these days she’s got a more low-profile beau. Liukin is currently dating a guy named Matt Lombardi. He’s even shown up in the DWTS audience cheering his lady on, as she shared a picture not long ago via her Instagram.
Nastia and Derek have done quite well already so far this season, despite the challenges they face in rehearsing given Hough’s busy schedule this spring. However, they are up against some other great pairs in this 2015 spring season as well. Fans will have to remember to vote diligently every week to ensure that “Team Houghkin” sticks around by calling 1-855-234-5604 every Monday night.
Can Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough take home the mirror-ball trophy on this Dancing With the Stars 2015 spring season? Their fans sure think so and can’t wait to see just how far the pair goes.
[Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC]