Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson reunited after ‘rivalry’ split them apart
Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson chose to rewatch the 2008 Olympics together -- Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN -- and live stream their experience on Instagram. Such a thought was unfathomable a few years ago.
Liukin and Johnson were roommates at the Beijing Olympics, where they took gold and silver, respectively in the all-around. They were also joined in text, script and graphics across media that summer.
Then they went nearly eight years without talking to each other after the Games.
“The entire world like plotted us against one another,” Johnson said in a 2018 YouTube sitdown between the two retired gymnasts. “As soon as all-around hit, it was like Nastia or Shawn. … We kind of felt like, well, they don’t want us to be friends. They won’t allow us to be friends.”
After Liukin had not received an invitation to Johnson’s April 2016 wedding, it was Johnson who reached out with a long email.
“If you don’t respond, I totally get it,” she said. “Just know that I love you. I miss my best friend. I support you in everything you do.”
Liukin, in tears, responded 30 seconds later. They met in New York a few weeks after that. Liukin did attend Johnson’s wedding to NFL long snapper Andrew East.
“Sports is just such a small part of your life, yet a big part of your life,” Liukin said in 2018. “It brought us together. It drove us apart. It brought us back together.”
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