Nastia Liukin: Olympic Stud of the Day

Nastialiukin_lLuckily, no one expects "journalistic objectivity" in a blog called "Olympic Stud of the Day," because watching last night’s women’s gymnastics all-around competition, I was about as objective as Bela Karolyi. I was rooting for Shawn Johnson, largely because I think I could talk to her if we were stuck together at an airport. We’d talk about how really, if you need to say you live a normal life, you don’t. (We’d also talk about whether she was on a date, like that radio deejay said. About whether people will actually go visit Des Moines just because she’s from there. About what would have happened to that sculpture of her in butter.) I have no idea how Nastia Liukin (pictured) and I would pass the time…. Maybe chatting about her decision to wear a pink leotard rather than a red, white, or blue one? (I know that shouldn’t bother me, but it kinda did.) All that said, Liukin deserved the gold (and Stud of the Day title) for making her stuck landings on the vault and beam as beautiful as her bars routine.

Other contenders: Belgian beach volleyball players Liesbeth Mouha and Liesbet van Breedam, who almost pulled off an upset against the U.S. golden girls, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. (How incredible was that first set?) Mouha and van Breedam had to beg their Olympic committee to even send them to Beijing when they qualified 13th. Then there’s U.S. swimmer Rebecca Soni, who did upset Australia’s Leisel Jones in the 200M breaststroke. That finish was almost as exciting as Jason Lezak’s in the 4X100M freestyle relay. And finally, we’ve got Michael Phelps, who earned his sixth gold at Beijing for the 200M individual medley — then got a rubdown (which I may have rewound) — before taking to the pool again. Milorad Cavic, an American representing his parents’ homeland, Serbia, could be trouble for Phelps in the 100M butterfly. But you know, I’m suddenly twice as excited to watch that final.

Nominate your own Olympic Stud of the Day* — or second ours — below. (And click here to check out our winning Studs from the previous days in Beijing.)

* Not just a man or woman who turns us on. (Necessarily.)

addCredit(“Nastia Liukin; Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images”)

Comments (111 total) Add your comment
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  • KG

    i second that. and i also got bothered by the pink leotard. i was also rooting for shawn johnson bec she looks so cute and adorable and doesn’t have the size that most gymnasts yet she nails her routines. but nastia was breathtakingly amazing, especially in the beam and the floor. when she started smiling after she finished w/ the floor, and couldn’t hold back tears when the announcer said gold medalist & olympic champion next to her name, i cried a little bit myself.

  • Rach

    Thank you EW for covering the Olympics!

  • Kelly

    What an incredible win for the U.S. Nastia Liukin was amazing, and so was Shawn Johnson. I was nervous throughout since it seemed like the judges were being extra hard on the Americans and easy on everyone else. And I was more bothered by that Chinese gymnast’s blue eyeshadow than I was by Nastia’s leotard.

  • Anne

    I was rooting for Nastia last night. She has come back from injury to be even better than she was before and she did it with grace and beauty. The pink leotard is no big deal its just one of many that was made for the members of the US team and pink is her favorite color! You can’t argue with her stuck landings and how exquisite she looked while on floor or the fact that she has the hardest bar routine in the world. Nastia just killed it! I’m also going to nominate Ryan Lochte for Oylmpic stud, aside from the fact that he is a total hottie, he won a gold medal in the 200m backstroke and then a mere 27 minutes later he took bronze in the 200IM. People said it was the hardest double of games but he did it and up against the best swimmers in the world no less. Now there’s someone I could chat up in an airport!

  • MsDaisy

    Agree wholeheartedly with choosing Nastia. And I liked the pink leotard, she looked great in the color – much better than she looks in the red one.. A close second for OSOD would be Rebecca Soni.

  • Coach’s Mistress

    Nastia is the obvious choice for OSD. However, I don’t understand why the pink leotard should bother anybody. Johnathan Horton wore grey in the mens all-around.

  • Andie

    Good one on calling out Liesbeth Mouha and Liesbet van Breedam. I obviously wanted Walsh and May to win, but the Belgians put up a great first set. Props to Misty and Kerri for pulling it together at the end.

  • Erin

    Yeah I stayed up way too late watching the gymnastics and it was so worth it. I thought the pink leotard was cute on her, it really made her stand out. I second Ryan Lochte- so hottt

  • Dana

    Nastia was a shoo in but I too was disturbed at her choice of leotard. And as a mother,it broke my heart to see her trying to call her mom to no availe.

  • Meg

    I’m going to echo the calls for Ryan Lochte. There is probably no one at the olympic games who better fulfills the term stud and then yesterday he went on to win his first individual gold only to have to swim against Michael Phelps 29 minutes later (and he still had a good race!). It was also his last swim I believe, meaning there is no other chance to give him the stud title which is a true shame because Lochte is a total hottie!

  • Amelia

    Yes, she was the stud of yesterday. But Lochte comes as a second, he is gorgeous!
    And for the leotard debate, I liked it.

  • Gymbo

    One word: LOCHTE!

  • Crystal

    Nastia! She is gorgeous and her routines were so pretty (and stuck like glue). Plus, her barely holding it together once she found out she won was very moving. On the podium she would try and sing along but you could tell that anything other than deep breathing was going to turn her into a sobbing mess.
    As for the leo, I was thrown a bit at first as well, but the color looks very good on her so it grew on me!

  • Lise

    The difference between the team competition and the all-around is that the gymnasts are representing themselves, not their country. So they should be able to wear whatever color makes them happy!

  • To Lise

    I disagree…Olympians are ALWAYS representing their country. However, I have no problem with them wearing different colors, but I can see why some think it’s off.

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