"1996, when the Magnificent Seven won the gold medal on the team," the gymnast says right away. But it was 2004 that sold her on the Games. "One of my teammates, Carly Patterson, won the all-around gold, and I remember at that point thinking, 'That is what I want to do in four years.'"
And she did. In 2008, Liukin took home five medals, including the gold for the all-around, just like Patterson. She tied gymnastic legends Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller for the most medals in a single Olympics.
Now she's hoping to add to her collection.
"I never gave  up completely, but I think for a few years I definitely took time off," Liukin tells PARADE. "Last October was when I really made the decision to go at it 100 percent. I don't want to have any regrets when the end of the Olympics is here."
She'll have her chance soon, when she competes to qualify for the London Games. Trials begin June 28 in San Jose, Calif.
At 22, Liukin is at the older end of the gymnast spectrum (Olympic hopefully Jordyn Wieber, who won the all-around gold medal at world championships last year, is only 16 years old).
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