Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin faced off against each other in another handstand challenge, and this one was significantly more difficult than their last upside-down competition.
On Friday, Shawn took to Instagram to share a video of the two Olympic gymnasts showing off their impressive athleticism. The former teammates were attempting a stunt that was first performed by their fellow gymnast Simone Biles. In a video that went viral, the four-time Olympic gold medalist used her feet to remove her sweatpants while doing a handstand.
Shawn, 28, and Nastia, 30, turned Simone’s self-challenge into a race to see who could remove their pants first. The women were already in the handstand position at the beginning of the video, which was filmed at Shawn’s home in Nashville, Tennessee. Nastia was clad in a pair of charcoal-gray sweatpants and a red crop top with a deep V-neck. As for Shawn, she rocked a pair of maroon sweatpants and a black T-shirt that was knotted in the front.
Nastia quickly pulled ahead of Shawn at the start of the video. She easily managed to uncover the tiny light gray shorts that she wore beneath her sweatpants. Her pants-removal method involved rubbing one leg with the bare foot of the opposite leg and switching sides. By doing this, she pushed the pants upward and slowly exposed her long, lean legs.
Shawn was using the same method, but she wasn’t moving quite as fast as Nastia. Both of the athletes moved around on their hands to maintain their balance, and Shawn almost caught a break when Nastia nearly lost her balance. However, Nastia quickly recovered after letting out a small scream.
Shawn’s husband, former NFL player Andrew East, was behind the camera, and he provided commentary as the gymnasts raced to remove their bottoms. He observed that Shawn was struggling with her heavy sweatpants because they were “so big.” By the time she managed to completely uncover the pair of tiny black athletic shorts that she wore beneath them, Nastia’s sweatpants were already bunched up around her feet. Nastia kicked her sweapants off and dropped her feet back to the ground. She then laughed as she watched Shawn conquer the challenge by shaking her own pants off just seconds later.
In the span of two hours, Shawn and Nastia’s video showdown racked up over 79,000 likes and more than 500 comments.
“This might be one of the most impressive physical things I’ve ever seen. Ridiculous, but super impressive! Ha!” wrote Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky.
“I love the shaking strategy,” another commenter wrote.
“This is hilarious and I can’t even imagine how hard!!” a third comment read.
Shawn and Nastia previously faced off in a similar but slightly easier competition. The original handstand challenge — one that went viral on TikTok — required putting on a shirt while doing a handstand against a wall. When Shawn and Nastia attempted this version, there was some debate among fans over who won.