MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Aug. 28, 2008 – 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin will be featured on a special edition box of Wheaties, which will become available in September. Liukin joins Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson as the only U.S. women to win the coveted Olympic all-around crown, who were also featured on a Wheaties box.
Liukin won five medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In addition to winning the all-around gold medal, she also was a member of the silver-medal team and claimed silver medals in the uneven bars and balance beam and a bronze medal in the floor exercise. Liukin won the most medals of any female gymnast in Beijing, and her five medals ties the mark for the most gymnastics medals earned in one Olympics set by Retton and matched by Shannon Miller in 1992. Coached by her father, Valeri, Liukin also has nine world medals.
"Every young athlete aspires to one day see their face on the cover of the Wheaties box," said Liukin. " It’s been a huge inspiration to see great gymnastics champions on the box, like Mary Lou and Carly, plus the ‘Magnificent Seven’ from 1996. It’s a privilege and an honor for me to be on the box, and I’m very excited to be part of the Wheaties tradition."
"I’m so thrilled for all of our athletes, but in particular to see Nastia take the gold in the all-around and now get her own Wheaties box," said Retton. " It’s an honor for any athlete to be on the box and more than anything it epitomizes what it means to be a true champion."
2008 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay will also appear on boxes. Clay became the first American since Dan O’Brien in 1996 to win gold in the decathlon. Clay joins fellow decathlon gold medalists O’Brien, Jim Thorpe and Bruce Jenner as Wheaties champions.
Wheaties’ tradition of honoring great American champions dates back to Johnny Weismuller and Babe Didrikson in the 1930s.