The USA Women’s Gymnastics team dominated at the Rio 2016 Olympics and while it was a time to celebrate, it was also a little bittersweet. The 2016 Olympics marked the last time the legendary Martha Karolyi would serve as the Women’s National Team Coordinator, hence why the US team dubbed themselves the Final Five. Ever since the games wrapped, everyone has been wondering who will take over the reigns.
Today, it was announced that two-time Olympic champion Valeri Liukin will take over the role. Liukin is indeed the father and coach of 2008 Olympic All-Around champion Nastia Liukin and the gym he started in Texas, World Olympic Gymnastics Academy 2004, has produced 2004 Olympic champ Carly Patterson, as well as 2016 team gold medalist and uneven bars silver medalist Madison Kocian.
Nastia took to Instagram to congratulate her father on the big news with the sweetest message. She said, “CONGRATULATIONS DAD!!!!! I can’t wait to watch you lead the United States of America Women’s Gymnastics National Team. No words can even describe how proud of you I am. Your passion for the sport of gymnastics and helping every athlete you’ve ever coached achieve their dreams is inspiring beyond words. I’ve never been more proud to be your daughter. Now go take on the world, Dad. I love you so much!!”
She also shared in a statement, “He’s always been my father, but he’s also been a role model and inspiration for me, so to see him achieve something that he has wanted to do for so long, to see him lead the U.S. team, that makes me very proud of him.”
Congrats Coach Liukin! We can’t wait to see you lead our USA Women’s teams to many more victories!
Congrats to an amazing athlete, coach & person, Valeri Liukin! Named U.S. Women's Nat'l Team Coordinator by @USAGym! pic.twitter.com/DNQYQbaqXw
— Shannon Miller (@shannonmiller96) September 16, 2016