Britain Bound: Liukin Day 3

Sept. 15, 2011, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

My third day in England for Team USA: Britain Bound included Shakespearean actors in full costume and windy, back road tours of English farm country with my new friend and Paralympic cyclist Allison Jones. We learned how to cook British cuisine and met one of the Queen’s 12 Olympic artists.

In Stratford-upon-Avon, we joined the pros of the Royal Shakespeare Company as they prepared for the days’ performances, getting a behind-the-scenes tour of their sets and stages. In Broadway, we received a touching, personalized gift from Olympic artist Jeremy Houghton. I received a painting of me performing on the “beam” of a weightlifter’s barbell, high above his head. And in the Cotswolds, known for its gentle hillsides and sleepy English villages, we took a cookery lesson from the region’s most famous chef.

  • What amazed me today was: the beauty of the English countryside
  • My gymnastics background came in handy when: I participated in the show warm-ups for the actors at the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • I knew I wasn't in the U.S when: I saw Shakespeare's birthplace
  • It was so amazing to meet: Jeremy Houghton, who just got selected by the Queen as one of the 12 artists for the 2012 Games. He painted an incredible painting of me as well :)
  • The coolest thing I learned today was: how to make a popular British dessert
  • I'd love to show my parents: my new cooking skills
  • I laughed out loud when: I tried a celeriac, a celery root (it wasn't my favorite, but I gave it a go!)
  • Three words to describe Broadway: beautiful, peaceful, traditional
  • The food at the cooking session was: so much fun to make

  • If I'm looking for a calling after gymnastics, I know I can try: acting with my new friends ;)
Check out more on my trip thus far, here.