Nastia Liukin, WINNER, Wishing her fiercest competitor WELL: “I admire her with ALL of My HEART”

Transcribed by Jeff Fenske from CBS’ Today: Today’s Olympic Moment, 8/15/08

“Today’s Olympic Moment is about two young gymnasts who are the best the world has to offer — and not just when they’re performing, either.

Last night, Americans, Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson knew their toughest competition for the individual gold in gymnastics was each other. Yet these roomates at the Games didn’t root for the other to fail. They cheered each other on every step of the way. …

Then the moment of truth: Nastia Liukin, Olympic gold medalist; Shawn Johnson, right behind her with the silver — the grace they displayed, making them both champions in the eyes of the world.”

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From: WHOtv.com

Shawn Johnson’s teammate, friend, and roommate in Beijing ended the night with the gold medal. Nastia Liukin finished just six-tenths ahead of Shawn in the point standings. Nastia landed her vault, but scored lower than expected. That put her in tenth place after the first round. But after that, Nastia performed one of the most difficult routines on the uneven bars, and nailed it.

Nastia delivers strong performances on both the beam and floor exercise. It wasn’t until Shawn wrapped up her floor routine that Nastia knew the gold medal would be hers. The Soviet-born gymnast says she knows that Shawn is her biggest competitor.

“We’re both incredibly strong athletes and gymnasts and she won Worlds last year, and… She’s a phenomenal athlete and I couldn’t speak any more highly of her. I admire her with all my heart. It’s been amazing and it’s been a great journey, and it’s been a really cool ending,” says Liukin.

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