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Nastia Liukin: Gymnast, Comentator, Airbnb Host
Ever dreamed of becoming a gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast? Well, now you can at least know what it's like to live in the apartment of one.
Nastia Liukin, who took home five medals for the U.S. including overall gold in Beijing, is renting out her Boston home on Airbnb while she's in Rio making another Olympic debut — as a gymnastics analyst for NBC. "I’ll be in Rio for almost a month, so I just thought it was the perfect time," Liukin tells PEOPLE exclusively. The one-bedroom luxury apartment on Boston Harbor will be available for two guests to book from August 8–12 for $5,000, with all proceeds benefitting the Corey Griffin Foundation. "It's a cause that’s really near and dear to my heart, and my fiancé's as well," she says of the charity set up in memory of a Boston College hockey player and philanthropist. Her fiancé, Matt Lombardi, also played there.
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An Olympian on the Down Low
So, what does an Olympian's home look like? Liukin points out that if you're looking for medals and memorabilia draped over every piece of furniture, you may be disappointed. "You wouldn’t walk in and say ‘oh yeah, an Olympian lives here,'" she says with a laugh. "I decorated it, but it’s my fiancé and I’s place so it’s not too girly girl. It’s kind of like a cozy rustic."
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In addition to a well-equipped kitchen that Liukin admits Lombardi uses more frequently (and more skillfully), the new building also features a pool, an outdoor grilling area and a gym that the pair use daily. "Both of us are former athletes so having a gym in there was really important," she says. Liukin also has one Olympics-centric activity in mind for her guests: "There’s a movie room, too. I thought that would be really cool to watch the women’s team finals, for instance, on the big screen."
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The Star on Style
While the overall neutral palette and serene touches will put any traveler at ease, Nastia and Matt's personalities show through in the details. "There are just a few personal touches," she says of the home's accessories. "And a lot of candles. I’m a big candle person."
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Nastia's Boston Favorites
In addition to her home, Liukin will be offering up suggestions for her must-visit places around the city. Her all-time favorite spot is not too far from the apartment, located on the buzzy waterfront. "My fiancé and I, one of our first dates was at the Boston Aquarium. I think no matter how old you are it’s a fun place to go." Other recommendations include Smith & Wollensky "if you’re looking for a little bit of a fancier place," Loco Taqueria in up-and-coming South Boston for a "younger, really fun crowd" with a "pineapple guacamole that we love."
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The Next Adventure
Liukin, who is getting married in June, reveals that Airbnb-ing her own place has made she and Lombardi rethink their honeymoon plans. "We haven’t set a destination or a location yet, but we thought it would be really cool to find an Airbnb...somewhere tropical." Perhaps a return to Rio with a less athletes and a few more Caipirinhas?
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