Nastia Liukin Is New At This Broadcasting Thing
Nastia Liukin reigned as America's gymnastics sweetheart during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she earned the gold medal in the all-around. Unfortunately, her competitive success isn't transferring over well to her broadcast career.
Working this week for Universal Sports' coverage of the U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota, Liukin displayed a frightening lack of skill in both providing analysis and in conducting interviews, here with former men's Olympic champion Paul Hamm:
Will she improve? We hope. It's tough not to like Liukin, who stole the spotlight from Shawn Johnson in the 2008 Games and did so with grace in the wake of the Chinese gymnast age scandal. But her communication skills are only one element of her onscreen persona that need improving.
Because, really, what was she thinking with that bizarre outfit? An important first rule of television she ought to learn quickly is that wardrobe should never be distracting, and it should REALLY never remind you of a Seinfeld episode.
Update: Yahoo! Sports reporter Maggie Hendricks notes that a conflict of interest is also in play -- Liukin serves on the three-person panel deciding who represents the United States in international competition.
Follow Timothy on Twitter at @bubbaprog.
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