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Liukin Named Sportswoman of the Year


NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Olympic all-round gymnastics champion Nastia Liukin was named Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation on Tuesday.

Liukin, who won five Olympic medals in Beijing with her elegant routines, joined a list of former winners including golfer Annika Sorenstam, figure skater Michelle Kwan, track athlete Gail Devers and speed skater Bonnie Blair.

"Honestly, I can't believe I'm one of those on that list," the American gymnast told reporters.
"They are just phenomenal athletes. I would've never dreamed of anything like that. It's just amazing to be here."

Liukin said she has been on a whirlwind schedule since Beijing, performing in a U.S. gymnastics tour, designing a fashion line and getting ready to act in an episode of the hit U.S. television show, "Gossip Girl."
Liukin, who turns 19 this month, will resume training in January with a view towards competing in front of her home fans in Dallas in August and at the world championships in London in October.

"That's what my next big goal is," said Liukin.

"2012 is four years away, so it's hard to say as far as what I'm doing," she said about the possibility of defending her Olympic title in London.

The other nine finalists for the individual award were: Mao Asada, figure skating; Veronica Campbell-Brown, track; Natalie Coughlin, swimming; Ashley Fiolek, motocross; Allison Fisher, billiards; Yelena Isinbayeva, pole vault; Lorena Ochoa, golf; Lindsey Vonn, downhill skiing; and Rebecca Ward, fencing.

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