Willowy and long-limbed, Liukin dances across the beam and around the uneven bars. "She does the most beautiful gymnastics," says Mary Lou Retton, the 1984 gold medalist, of Liukin's elegant style. She has both the genes and the gym to thank; her mother was a world champion rhythmic gymnast for the Soviet Union and her father a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He now coaches her. Having nursed an ankle injury last year, she's now eyeing the all-around title, currently held by American Carly Patterson, who trained at Liukin's gym in Texas. Liukin would love nothing more than to keep Olympic gold in the family.
Next 25. Alicia Sacramone