Nastia Signed first Wheaties Box

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Jul 12, 2007
Olympic gold medalist signs first Wheaties boxes

When an athlete finds herself on the front of a Wheaties box, they know that they have reached the pinnacle of sports.

Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin, who trains at World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, got her first glimpse of a new Wheaties box with her picture on the front Wednesday at a Kroger in Frisco. Liukin was making an appearance to sign autographs and meet with fans.

The Parker resident said that the implications of seeing herself on the popular orange cereal box had not sunk in yet.

“It’s still surreal for me to see this,â€￾ Liukin said. “Every legendary athlete is on a Wheaties box, and to be part of that is a huge honor and it’s still like it’s not real.â€￾

Hundreds of fans lined up to meet Liukin, who was scheduled to sign autographs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lisa Tokarz told her daughter, who recently began competing in gymnastics, that they were going to Kroger for free pumpkins, and was thrilled when she saw her daughter’s reaction to Liukin.

“I was teary-eyed when she came in and found out exactly why she was here,â€￾ Tokarz said.

Taylor Tokarz asked Liukin for a piece of her gymnastics outfit, and said that meeting an Olympic gold medalist was much better than a free pumpkin.

“It was really cool, because she’s my favorite gymnast,â€￾ Taylor said. “I wasn’t very excited for free pumpkins.â€￾

Since returning from the Beijing games in August, Liukin said she has spent five days in Parker, and most of those days were not spent at home. The women’s all-around champion is in the midst of the 2008 Tour of Gymnastics Superstars, which will be in Dallas Saturday.

“It’s pretty crazy, but at the same time I’m enjoying it,â€￾ Liukin said. “And all of the hard work that I’ve done is fun now, so it’s kind of like an award.â€￾

Liukin also said that she is thankful for all of the fans in North Texas who have shown their support.

“Even knowing that I have so many fans all over the world,â€￾ she said. “It’s the local support that’s the best.â€￾
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