Gymnast Nastia Liukin won everyone’s hearts when she was crowned the All-Around champion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics alongside bestie and fellow athlete Shawn Johnson. While Nastia is usually busy, she still makes time to hit the beach wearing her sexiest bikinis and swimsuits!
“Jungle Nastia has entered the group chat,” she captioned an Instagram carousel post in April 2022. The first slide featured a shot of her posing in a multi-colored, floral two-piece ensemble and sunglasses.
In another post, the blonde beauty shared a snap of her posing in a light purple bikini, sunglasses and a classy sun hat.
“Going to Costa Rica (!!!) next week,” she wrote via Instagram that month. “Tell us all the things to do, see, hotels, etc. etc. Thank youuuu [sic].”
While she doesn’t hesitate to flaunt her swimwear every now and then, Nastia has opened up about struggling with body image. In a January 2018 interview with StyleCaster, the gold medalist revealed the criticism she faced following the 2008 Olympics.
“People remembered me as this petite blond gymnast in a leotard, and then I go through the normal body changes and people are like, ‘Oh my God. You’re so fat,’” she explained. “It’s like, ‘Actually, I’m not fat.’ Yes. I gained some weight. But my body is going through this change. Everyone goes through that. I guess not everyone goes through it in the public eye.”
Nastia then labeled this difficult phase in her life as an “identity crisis.”
“I didn’t know who I was,” she added. “I didn’t know what to wear. Nothing fit me. I tried to wear really baggy clothes to hide that. I lost all my self-confidence. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to go to events or to dinner or do anything because I was so insecure with myself and my body because of what other people were saying.”
However, the world champion later realized she “needed to take time for [her] body to go through that.” So, she reached a point of self-acceptance.
“I was working out all the time, but nothing was happening, and at a certain point, it’s OK,” Nastia noted. “More recently, I’ve realized that if I want dessert, if I want a cookie, I’m going to have it and not deprive myself because I don’t want my jeans to be too tight.”
Nevertheless, Nastia still found herself being criticized for looking too skinny.
“No matter what, you’re still being body-shamed,” she added. “On my Instagram yesterday, someone was like, ‘Jeez. When are you going to start eating again?’ It’s like, ‘Trust me. I eat just fine.’ I am healthy … No matter what, you’re never going to be what people want.”
Despite the negative comments she’s received, the balance beam queen embraces her natural beauty and enjoys absorbing the sunshine whenever she can.
Scroll through the gallery to see Nastia’s sexiest bikini photos!