Nastia Liukin

BEIJING - AUGUST 15:  Nastia Liukin of the United States, right, poses with her father Valeri Liukin after she won the gold medal in the women's individual all-around artistic gymnastics final at the National Indoor Stadium on Day 7 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 15, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Valeri Liukin named USA Gymnastics women’s national team coordinator

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Valeri Liukin, the four-time 1988 Soviet Olympic medalist and father of Nastia Liukin, has been named USA Gymnastics women’s national team coordinator, succeeding Martha Karolyi.

“I don’t know if I can say it’s a dream come true, but it feels like one,” Valeri Liukin said, according to USA Gymnastics. “I don’t know how to describe it.”

Valeri Liukin, 49, has been USA Gymnastics’ elite developmental coordinator since 2013 and was most seen at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, guiding his daughter to the Olympic all-around title.

“I’ve never been more proud to be his daughter,” Nastia Liukin said, according to USA Gymnastics. “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.”

Valeri Liukin will report to Rhonda Faehn, the senior vice president of the women’s program for USA Gymnastics who was also seen as a candidate to succeed Karolyi, who had been in the role from 2001-16. Bela Karolyi was the first women’s national team coordinator in 1999 and 2000.

“Valeri has excelled as a personal coach, and he has demonstrated his ability to lead and guide other coaches through his efforts as the elite developmental coordinator,” USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said in a press release.  “He will provide a smooth transition from the program that has been created, and Valeri is recognized as a capable and talented coach.”

The Liukins moved from Russia to the U.S. in 1992, three years after Nastia was born. Valeri Liukin co-founded the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas, in 1994.

The gym helped produce the 2004 and 2008 Olympic all-around champions (Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin), a 2009 and 2010 World all-around medalist (Rebecca Bross) and 2016 Olympic team champion member Madison Kocian.

Similarly, Liukin takes over a program with a rich recent history — five straight Olympic or world team titles starting in 2011.

“We are at the highest level there is,” Valeri Liukin said, according to USA Gymnastics. “It’s not going to be easy – it shouldn’t be – but I have been a part of this team for many years in one way or another. I have been at The Ranch since 1999 and have coached several generations of national team members. I know the drill. I grew up in that system as a gymnast, and I’ve raised my athletes in that same system, too.”

The first national-team camp at the Karolyi Ranch in New Waverly, Texas, under Valeri Liukin will start Sept. 28, and he plans to have regular conversations with the Karolyis, according to USA Gymnastics.

“There is no point in changing something that isn’t broken,” Valeri Liukin said. “There is nothing new for me. I believe in it.”

MORE: Aly Raisman: Tokyo 2020 is the goal

Nastia Liukin, Tim Daggett recap first night of Olympic Women’s Trials

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To no surprise, Simone Biles leads halfway through the Olympic Trials. Of greater note is Gabby Douglas‘ place in the standings — seventh.

While Biles is en route to clinching the automatic spot on the five-woman Olympic team Sunday night (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports app), Douglas certainly did not help her chances in San Jose, Calif., on Friday.

Douglas came into the meet considered a near lock to be on the five-woman team for Rio that will be announced after competition Sunday. Her merit was largely earned in 2015, when she finished second to Biles in the all-around at the world championships.

Douglas has not been the same since winning the AT&T American Cup on March 5. She was fourth in the all-around at the P&G Championships two weeks ago.

Even if Douglas’ spot on the Olympic team is still secure, her hopes of defending her Olympic all-around title are in serious jeopardy. The U.S. won’t put more than three women in the all-around in qualifying in Rio, and Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Aly Raisman all performed better than Douglas at the P&G Championships and the first night of Olympic Trials.

VIDEO: Why Gabby Douglas made coaching adjustment

Nastia Liukin to make NBC Olympics gymnastics analyst debut in Rio

Nastia Liukin
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Beijing Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin will make her debut as an NBC Olympics gymnastics analyst in Rio in August, joining Al Trautwig and Tim Daggett on the broadcast team.

Liukin served as an NBCOlympics.com contributor at the London 2012 Games, after retiring following the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, and has covered World and National-level gymnastics competitions for NBC since.

Also in Rio, legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi will serve as an NBC Olympics primetime correspondent for a third straight Games.

Karolyi’s wife, Martha Karolyi, is the U.S. women’s national team coordinator who has said she will retire after the Rio Games.

Liukin, Trautwig and Daggett and sideline reporter Andrea Joyce will call the P&G Men’s Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, live on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra at 2 p.m. ET.

NBCSN will air coverage of the Secret U.S. Gymnastics Classic women’s event later Sunday at 9:30 ET.

The P&G Women’s Championships and the U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Trials are later in June and July.

MORE: Biles, Douglas headline Secret Classic; Nichols out