Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin named grand marshal for 2015 Indianapolis 500

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Olympics and motorsports will cross paths later this month, with gold medal-winning gymnast Nastia Liukin named as grand marshal at the Indianapolis 500.

See a full release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway below:

Nastia Liukin, the individual all-around gold medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and one of the most successful gymnasts in U.S. history, will serve as Grand Marshal of the 99th Indianapolis 500 on May 24.

As part of her duties as Grand Marshal, Liukin will appear on the red carpet, take a parade lap around the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and be announced to the crowd prior to the start of the race. She will also serve as an Honored Guest at the 500 Festival Parade and the Snake Pit Ball.

“We’re excited to have Nastia Liukin as part of the rich pre-race pageantry of the Indianapolis 500,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Over the years we have welcomed many famous athletes from outside the motorsports world on Race Day and to have such a decorated Olympian visit is an honor.”

“I have very fond memories of competing and performing in Indianapolis, and I will actually be back again in August for the P&G Gymnastics Championships,” Liukin said. “I’m really honored to be the Grand Marshal for this year’s Indianapolis 500. It will be so exciting to witness ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ – I can’t wait!”

Liukin is currently competing on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” the celebrity event won in the fall of 2007 by current Verizon IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves. The competition airs on Monday nights on ABC; the network will also air the Indianapolis 500.

Liukin, who currently resides in New York City after growing up in Texas, retired from competitive gymnastics in 2012 after a career in which she was a key member of the U.S. team. She won nine world championship medals (four gold, five silver), tied with Shannon Miller and Simone Biles, and five Olympic medals.

In 2008, Liukin was instrumental to the U.S. women’s team’s success at the Olympic Games, leading the team to the silver medal in team competition. Individually, she won the coveted Olympic all-around gold medal with the performance of a lifetime, silver medals on both balance beam and uneven bars, and the bronze medal on the floor exercise. At the time, she was just the third American woman to win the Olympic all-around title.

Indianapolis holds a significant place in Liukin’s career, as she won her first senior U.S. all-around title at the U.S. Championships in Indy in 2005. She will be returning to town in August as a television commentator for the P&G Gymnastics Championships, the sport’s national championships.

Beyond gymnastics, Liukin has embarked on several successful business ventures, including modeling for BCBG/Max Azria; teaming up with Fisher-Price to introduce a new interactive Dora the Explorer doll, “Fantastic Gymnastics Dora”; launched Supergirl by Nastia, a line of signature clothing at JC Penney; designed her own leotard line with GK/Elite Sportswear and a signature line of training gymnastics equipment with AAI; served on the creative team and performed in the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions; and was a reporter for the television coverage of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Liukin is fluent in both English and Russian and began attending NYU in 2013, where she is a junior studying international sports management.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.