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Gymnastics Stars Shine in Tuesday Primetime
(13 votes, average 3.77 out of 5)

Olympic champion Nastia Liukin and a troupe of male gymnasts will share the spotlight in the U.S. television primetime lineup Tuesday evening.

At 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST, Liukin guest stars on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," the hit reality series that challenges overweight contestants to get in shape.

As the season nears its conclusion, Liukin will help guide the remaining contestants with the episode's pop challenge. While the challenge did not require anything specific to gymnastics — such as balance or flexibility — Liukin said she was impressed by the effort put out by the contestants.

"It was so amazing to see these contestants giving everything they had to try to achieve their goals, and I think that is something any athlete could relate to," Liukin told IG.

Liukin had been in Los Angeles in August for the launch of her clothing line, "Supergirl by Nastia," when she got the invitation to visit "The Biggest Loser Ranch" in nearby Calabasas. There she took part in the challenge and toured the ranch, where the contestants eat, sleep and sweat on the show.

"The most memorable part of the experience for me was probably being able to just sit down and talk to them and hear their individual stories," Liukin said. "They were all really interested in my training schedule and all the specifics of strength and cardio."

Liukin, who recently returned to two-a-day training as she tests a comeback for 2012, said she found herself inspired by the contestants.

"The whole experience was just amazing, to meet these people who are literally changing their lives," she said. "It's an inspiration."

While Liukin works with contestants on their way to fitness, a few lucky male gymnasts share the runway with models already famous for their physiques.


Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima poses with former U.S. champion David Durante during the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

At 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST, the annual "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" airs on CBS, and includes current and former U.S. team members Sasha Artemev, Alexy Bilozertchev, Chris Brooks, David Durante, Morgan Hamm, Wes Haagensen, John Macready, Steve McCain and Derek Shepard.

Filmed Nov. 10 at the Lexington Armory in New York City, the show features the gymnasts performing tumbling and a mushroom act on the runway. The idea to feature gymnasts came from the show's casting director, Shane Geraghty, a former gymnast.

Getting to work with supermodels like Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Karolina Kurkova made the gig a perfect "10," joked Durante.

"Some of the other guys and I were talking about some of the cool stuff we've done over the years with gymnastics, and we all feel pretty lucky with the experiences we've had, but this was on a different level," said Durante, the 2007 U.S. national champion. "Most of the stuff we've gotten to do has been sports based, so to be in an environment with the most beautiful women in the world, it's definitely tough to beat."

While none of the models were former gymnasts, they were interested in chatting about it, Durante said.

"A few of them wanted to try mushroom," he said. "They were all pretty impressed with what we were doing, which was cool."

Timing their gymnastics on the runway was tricky, said Bilozertchev, who performed his pommel horse skills alongside Artemev.

"The models were walking in between us both and would get pretty close," he told IG. "Doing flairs, especially like me and Sasha do, was interesting. We wanted to show them off, and at the same time we were trying not to kick the models as they were walking in between us."

Joked Bilozertchev, "But no worries, we had our eyes on the models!"

The full episode from Tuesday night's "Biggest Loser" with Nastia Liukin is available online in the U.S. at NBC.com.

Comments (7)add comment
article, Low-rated comment [Show]

Stacy said:

0
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I don't see much difference than if she had on a bikini. Is she really showing that much more skin than a female gymnast? Just her stomach and some cleavage. Calm down.
 
November 30, 2010
Votes: +2

Lora said:

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I think you're overreacting too. Maybe in some cultures like in the Middle East this is scandalous but I don't see the big deal.

And what's wrong with lingerie? Everyone wears it! It's not like it's the Playboy fashion show.
 
November 30, 2010
Votes: +0

sweetsteel said:

0
Relax!
I agree. Calm down. It is a far cry from pornography. She is a beautiful woman and all the essentials are covered. Maybe young gymnasts should also steer clear of beaches? Possibly they should also wear floor length skirts over their leotards . . .smilies/tongue.gif
 
November 30, 2010
Votes: +1

JuliaK said:

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I think it's sad anyone finds the human bodies shameful and in need of being covered up. If you go to Europe, you'll find topless women in newspaper ads! Especially the papers about sports!

The only thing offensive about that picture is that I wish I looked like her! smilies/grin.gif
 
November 30, 2010
Votes: +3

Margaret Tudor said:

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Puritan roots showing *roll eyes*
I think the Puritan roots of posters who are 'appalled' by a model in lingerie are showing. I mean give me a break it's just lingerie. I've seen way more on a beach. I unfortunately saw more from Janet Jackson during her infamous Superbowl 'accident' with Justin Timberlake's help. Heck, I've seen more on Project Runway. There is nothing dirty, or immoral about the photo and I'm glad IG is not as hung up as some folk seem to be.
 
December 01, 2010
Votes: +1

Papshmir said:

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We watch a sport where little girls wear skimpy outfits, flash their crotches at the judges, and shake their booties, and a photo of a shirtless adult male posing with an adult female in a bikini is deemed inappropriate?
 
December 01, 2010
Votes: +3

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