Olympic champions Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson opened up about their rollercoaster friendship and why they didn’t speak to each other for eight years. The duo has, however, rekindled their relationship.
Despite being renowned gymnasts with several accolades to their names, BFFs Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson are just like us and sometimes have friendship squabbles that last a long time.
The Olympic champions opened up about their rollercoaster friendship and talked about why they didn’t speak to each other for eight years. Liukin sat down with Johnson in a Vlog for the latter’s YouTube channel.
Gymnast Nastia Liukin at the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony on November 1, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
As part of the Grander Summit, the duo reflected on their feud, which they titled “Eight Years of Drama.” Johnson explained that all was good between them all through the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but it all changed afterward. In her words:
“Right after the Olympics, the entire world like plotted us against one another. As soon as all-around hit, it was like Nastia or Shawn.”
The girls revealed that the media narrative pitted them against each other, and they felt like the world didn’t want them to be friends. Given that they were around 16 and 18, the girls had no idea how to handle the situation.
However, the estranged pals reached a turning point in 2016 when news of Johnson’s wedding to Andrew East surfaced.
They noted that they were naive and believed what was fed to them even though nothing, in particular, caused them to fall out with each other. The atmosphere of competition made Liukin and Johnson not talk to each other for eight years.
Amid their rift, the world champions refused to follow each other on social media but continued to stalk each other daily, knowing each other’s location and vacation spots. The pair described the feud as “stupid and awkward.”
However, the estranged pals reached a turning point in 2016 when news of Johnson’s wedding to Andrew East surfaced. Johnson was pushed to reach out to her best friend and wrote a lengthy email to her while seated in the airport.
The 29-year-old recalled that she concluded the letter telling Liukin how much she missed her and letting her know she understood if a reply wasn’t received. To her surprise, Liukin responded in 30 seconds.
A few weeks later, the pair reunited in New York, and Liukin attended her best friend’s wedding. Liukin and johnson bonded during their time in the 2008 Olympics. They went one-two at the competition and were even roommates.
Their friendship has blossomed since their emotional reunion. In November 2019, when Johnson welcomed her daughter Drew Hazel, she gave none other than Liukin the honor ofbecoming the godmother.
Liukin proudly shared the news on social media.