Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin in "Gossip Girl" role

Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:10pm EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Olympic all-round gymnastics champion Nastia Liukin has landed a guest role on popular TV teen drama "Gossip Girl," describing it as one of her coolest thrills since winning five gold medals at the Beijing summer games.

Liukin, who turns 19 later this month and aspires to do some modeling and acting, said she was not sure if her role on the show would go beyond the one episode.

The "Gossip Girl" gig came totally by chance when she and some friends were chatting about the show, which depicts the lives of rich young teens in New York City.

"I was in Los Angeles having dinner with a bunch of my friends and the producers of 'Gossip Girl' were sitting at the table next to me," Liukin told reporters before being named Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation on Tuesday.

"So they sent over a note saying 'Congratulations. Keep watching "Gossip Girl'. Then the next day they contacted my management and the next thing I know I have a guest role on 'Gossip Girl.'

"I'm gonna get to film 'Gossip Girl' next time I'm here on October 21."

"I was going to play myself and then they thought it would be cool to give me a character," she said. "A bunch of my friends always watch, so to actually be on it, it's really cool."

"Gossip Girl", currently in its second season, is one of the most talked about shows on the fledgling CW network in the United States and is also watched in 30 nations in Europe, Asia and South America.

Liukin has been on a whirlwind schedule since the Olympics, performing in a U.S. gymnastics tour and designing a fashion line called 'Nastia Gold.'

 
<p>Nastia Liukin of the U.S. (R) is congratulated by teammate Shawn Johnson after winning the women's individual all-around artistic gymnastics final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Hans Deryk</p>