Liukin joins cast of Progressive presents Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular
Show will be broadcast on Jan. 18 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. on NBC
|The cast of "Progressive" poses in front of Mt. Rushmore. (courtesy of Lynn Plage)|
(01/07/2009) - Nastia Liukin, who dazzled American audiences with her near-flawless routines to capture the all-around gymnastics gold medal in the Beijing Olympics, headlines the Progressive presents Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular, which will be broadcast nationally on NBC on Jan. 18, 2009, from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. EST (be sure to check local listings). The show was recorded Dec. 23, 2008 in The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D. Liukin, still glittering from her golden night in Beijing, performs in this event, along with newly crowned silver medalist and 2007 world champion Shawn Johnson. Liukin is the third American woman to win the Olympic gold medal in the all-around competition, following the footsteps of Mary Lou Retton in 1984 and Carly Patterson in 2004. Actress and singer/songwriter Raven Symone provides musical entertainment for this special show. She is best known for her roles as Olivia in The Cosby Show, as Galleria in the Cheetah Girls and as Raven in her own show That's So Raven. She performs throughout the show with her talented group of dancers. Other gymnasts in this one-of-a-kind event are Olympic gold medalist Paul Hamm two-time Olympian Morgan Hamm, Jonathan Horton and Raj Bhavsar, who helped guide the U.S. men's team to a bronze medal in Beijing and Olympic silver medalist Samantha Peszek. The cast of figure skaters is equally decorated and includes 2008 junior world silver medalist Caroline Zhang, four-time Canadian champion Joannie Rochette, world junior champion and U.S. silver medalist Rachael Flatt, two-time U.S. men's champion Evan Lysacek, six-time U.S. champion Todd Eldredge and Olympic silver medalist Tanith Belbin. This grand opening event is hosted by 1968 Olympic gold medalist Peggy Fleming, two-time Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner and nine-time Olympic medalist Nadia Comaneci.