Olympic gymnasts Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin turned the viral handstand challenge into an entertaining competition, and Shawn shared the results of their epic face-off with her 2.7 million Instagram followers on Monday.
Shawn, 28, and Nastia, 30, were teammates during the 2008 Olympics, but they also competed against each other in the all-around event. According to the USA Gymnastics website, Nastia’s score of 63.325 helped her win the gold medal, while Shawn took home the silver with her 62.725 score.
The two women are no longer facing off against each other in official gymnastics events, but they participated in a friendly competition while taking on the handstand challenge. The premise of the social media craze is to put a shirt on while doing a handstand. Most of those who try it use a wall to help them stay upright. However, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles impressed her Instagram followers with her own twist on the challenge by removing her pants in the handstand position without using a wall.
The challenge seems tailor-made for gymnasts since it requires balance, strength, and coordination. However, Shawn and Nastia appeared to struggle a bit in Shawn’s Instagram video. A geotag indicated that it was filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, which is where Shawn lives. She and Nastia appeared to be inside her house, and they opted to use a wall for their competition.
Nastia wore a pair of gray athletic shorts and a red racerback sports bra that featured a cutout detail on the back. As for Shawn, she rocked a classic burgundy sports bra and a pair of black yoga leggings that covered up her heels. Both women had placed dark T-shirts on the ground in front of them. The area of the wall that they chose for their face-off included a wooden sliding door.
Shawn effortlessly lifted her legs up in the air to get in the handstand position, while Nastia used her feet to walk her long legs up the wall and door. They both started with one hand in the sleeves of their shirts.
Nastia spread her legs wide while trying to maintain her balance, and Shawn’s movements were making the door slide. Shawn’s husband was behind the camera, and he observed that Nastia was possibly putting her shirt on backward. She noted that she was having a difficult time because she kept “stepping” on the top with her hands.
Shawn managed to get the neck of her shirt over her head first, but Nastia beat her former teammate to getting back on her feet. This sparked some debate over who actually won.
“Shawn won cause you got it over your head significantly faster than Nastia… but maybe Nastia got right side up faster,” one fan wrote.
“This was freaking great!!! Nastia with the come back. This really brightened my day. Love you both,” another remark read.
“That was clearly a tie,” a third viewer opined.