Olympic gold medal gymnast Nastia Liukin has been chosen as the grand marshal of this year’s Indianapolis 500.
“We’re excited to have Nastia Liukin as part of the rich pre-race pageantry of the Indianapolis 500,” stated 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.”
As part of her grand marshal duties, Liukin will take a parade lap around the track and serve as an honored guest at the Snake Pit Ball and 500 Festival Parade.
Liukin received the individual all-around gold medal in gymnastics at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She has won nine world championship medals and five Olympic medals, ranking her as one of the most successful gymnasts in United States history.
Liukin retired from gymnastics in 2012, but is currently competing on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” She has also embarked on several successful business ventures including modeling for BCBG/Max Azria, designing sportswear and gymnastics equipment and reporting as part of the television coverage of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“I’m really honored to be the grand marshal for this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said Liukin. “It will be so exciting to witness ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ – I can’t wait!”
The 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held Sunday, May 24.