Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin Talks Barbie Partnership, Future of USA Gymnastics After Scandal

Barbie is celebrating her 60th birthday by reminding young girls the sky is the limit. The iconic doll brought her “You Can Be Anything” tour to North Texas, celebrating with the help of North Texas Olympic gymnast powerhouse, Nastia Liukin.

“That’s always been kind of my dream, to inspire the next generation and so I am just so lucky to be in the position I am in today and to be able to partner with Barbie,” said Liukin. 

Liukin, who last competed in the 2012 Olympics, will be headed to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as a gymnastics commentator for NBC Sports.

While she said she is excited for that experience, there is no escaping the dark cloud settled over USA Gymnastics, as the sport still tries to fix a culture of sexual assault and cover ups centered around former team Dr. Larry Nassar. Nassar is serving decades in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting victims with his hands under the guise of treatment. He also possessed child pornography. There are said to be nearly 500 survivors now suing USA Gymnastics.

“It’s obviously important to understand why it happened and then figure out how can this never happen again,” said Liukin. “And not just in our sport and our industry, but really just across the board.” 

Liukin says she’s hoping her role as athlete representative in her sport will help.

“My fingers are just crossed for the organization that you know this is the start of positive change and we’re moving in that right direction,” said Liukin. 

In the meantime, she hopes to continue to inspire the future.

“I’m just so honored to be a role model, because that is just something that I have aspired to my whole life,” said Liukin.

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